An oddball family visits some interesting places on their vacation, teaching readers about “their,” “there,” and “they’re” along the way.
Almost all of the hit-or-miss rhyming verses in an abcb pattern contain all three homophones, printed in boldface to make them stand out from the rest of the text: “The kids? They’re in the car. / They ask their parents, ‘Are we there?’ / while on their way to see / the World’s Largest Underwear.” Other stops on the tour include the Narwhal Petting Zoo (across from a wildly popular water park that tempts the two children not at all), Indoor Acres Camping Ground—complete with air conditioning, microwaves, and televisions and minus the bugs and sunburn—and the Cheezie Popz factory. The bold colors in Paillot’s digital illustrations make the artwork pop, and over-the-top facial expressions match its exuberance. Readers may wonder about all the luggage for what seems to be only a two-day vacation. Dad is dark-skinned, Mom is a pink-skinned redhead, and the kids are a mix of the two; the few people that round out some scenes are likewise diversely toned. A color-coded final note gives further guidance about when to use each homophone. Kids really need to read this book independently in order to see the words used in context, but it may feel too young for those that need this skill most.
A worthy stab at untangling a perennial grammatical knot, but the audience needs to be willing to go with it. (Picture book. 7-10)