When a human family goes away for a week, various animals use their home as a vacation spot.
On the front endpapers, the van is depicted driving off, packed with sleeping bags, fishing poles, and gear. Animals peek out from behind bushes, and the bears are the first to step inside the house. “Ah, the great indoors!” The bears are followed by beavers, who make extensive use of the conveniences of the kitchen; next come deer, ready for a dance party, and skunks, who enjoy the “simple life” with electricity. Toward the end of the week, things start to go awry, with messes everywhere. The animals start to miss home, and they’re ready to leave, though they make plans to return next year. Chan’s playful illustrations use clean lines and watercolor in light colors to build from fun to chaos. The text is filled with inside jokes for knowing older members of outdoorsy families, but even those don’t manage to raise the story’s humor beyond a smile. With little substance beyond the familiarity of the role reversal and no interesting surprises or humor to grab readers’ attention, this book doesn’t reach its potential.
A cute concept poorly delivered. (Picture book. 4-8)