From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3–Mom, Dad, and their five youngsters are headed for the beach. However, little Katie can't go without Fido, Mama needs the beach umbrella, baby needs "Ducky pail," and Dad…. For each forgotten item, it's "Hit the brakes! Reverse the car!…Weave through cars. Avoid a crash.…tires screech!" Finally, when everything is retrieved and they are on their way, a storm hits. And, just when everyone and everything is safely in the garage, the sun reappears! Out come the beach chairs, the cooler, the wading pool, snacks, mud pies. So who needs a beach to play in the water and sun when you have a backyard? Rhyming text and bouncy and boldly colored illustrations in acrylic on watercolor paper capture the frenzy surrounding this hilarious, truly not-to-be-undone, fiercely determined to have a good time family. A rip-roaring fun read-aloud.–Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Huntsville, AL
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PreS. As bright as a box of Popsicles, this sunny picture book puts a lighthearted spin on a day of family chaos. Packed into a minivan, a large family heads for the beach, but the dog has been left behind. Circling back for Fido is only the first of a series of return trips for forgotten items--until a rainstorm hits, and the family returns home for good. An upbeat ending finds the family cheerfully re-creating its beach day by sunbathing on the lawn. The short, rhyming text scans with an easy bouncing beat as it maintains the story's stop-and-go tension: ^B"That was it! / We're packed at last. / We're on the highway, moving fast! / . . . Oh, no . . . / A thunder crack . . . A sudden storm! / We're turning back." Wescott's ink-and-watercolor pictures extend the comical pandemonium in the car, with detailed rear-window views of wild siblings and the roof's precarious tower of beach loot. Pair this perfect warm-weather read-aloud with Phyllis Root's Rattletrap Car (2001), another story of a family outing gone hilariously awry. Gillian Engberg
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