A Drive in the Country

Overview

Climb in for the perfect road trip! Farm visits and foraging in the fields, car games and silly songs — what better way for a family to spend the day?

The car has been stocked with drinks and snacks, maps and joke books, treats for horses and ducks — and now it’s time for three kids, two parents, and one excited dog to set off on that most favorite day trip, a drive in the country. The destination? Oh, here, there, and home again, with a fresh appreciation of family ...

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Overview

Climb in for the perfect road trip! Farm visits and foraging in the fields, car games and silly songs — what better way for a family to spend the day?

The car has been stocked with drinks and snacks, maps and joke books, treats for horses and ducks — and now it’s time for three kids, two parents, and one excited dog to set off on that most favorite day trip, a drive in the country. The destination? Oh, here, there, and home again, with a fresh appreciation of family togetherness. Michael J. Rosen’s lyrical, nostalgic text and Marc Burckhardt’s whimsical illustrations are sure to encourage armchair travelers to come along for the ride.

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Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Ward
Rosen doesn't do messy reality; he does glorious happiness…Rosen revels in language…while Marc Burckhardt captures the idyll in scene after glowing, golden-lit scene. And you know, some days the world really does look like that.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Imagine a family car trip where no one zones out on a Game Boy or iPod, no child whines, "Are we there yet?" and no adult announces, "Don't make me pull this car over!" Rosen's (Elijah's Angel) sweetly nostalgic story, which features an intriguing picture book debut by Burckhardt, presents three siblings who never quarrel and who can amuse themselves for hours. "We have no destination (at least, Dad won't say just where we're going)," enthuses the narrator, "no reason to be home for supper, no place we need to reach by dark on the map that's as big as a baby blanket spread across our laps." Burckhardt's crackle-varnished pictures evoke the earnest openheartedness of 19th-century American primitivists as they chronicle the family's journey over hill and dale; the exaggerated panoramas and the highly stylized characters (their faces are almost always seen in severe profile) lend an almost surreal quiet to the pages while also tempering Rosen's tendency to overindulge in lyric idylls. The book may require as much willing suspension of disbelief as a fairy tale does, but it takes readers for a pleasant ride. Ages 5-10. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3 A nostalgic look at an idyllic Sunday drive with two parents, three kids, a basset hound named Shirley, and nary an interstate or housing development in sight. They head out in the morning, travel on narrow and winding country roads, and stop at an old-fashioned general store, "that's got only one or two of anything on the wooden shelves...." Coming across a lake, the dog chases ducks and the kids stand behind a waterfall. The unscheduled day is filled with many such stops and impromptu activities. Soon, night falls, and the return home brings a gentle reminder of the special closeness they have shared: "wherever in the world we've been today, the only place we wanted to go was Together, just our family, and a Sunday drive in the country took us there." Rosen's free-verse text reads aloud well, with subtle rhythms and interesting language. Burckhardt's acrylic paintings are a good match, with mellow earthy colors, deliberate yet fluid lines, crackled textures, and an open-road motif that wends its way throughout. Overall, this quiet book may not have wide appeal, but it is certainly a lovely glimpse at a custom that may be disappearing as fast as these beautifully empty country landscapes.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763621407
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,042,550
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.11 (w) x 11.58 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael J. Rosen has written and edited more than sixty books for children and adults. He enjoyed his childhood trips to the country so much that he moved there, and now lives on one hundred forested acres in central Ohio.

Marc Burckhardt’s work has appeared on several book jackets and in many publications, including ROLLING STONE, the NEW YORK TIMES, and TIME magazine. This is his first picture book. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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