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LaRue Across America: Postcards From the Vacation

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Overview


Bestselling, award-winning author/illustrator Mark Teague makes readers laugh aloud when LaRue goes on vacation with Mrs. Hibbins's cats!

Ike's plans for a peaceful cruise with Mrs. LaRue are thwarted when their neighbor, Mrs. Hibbins, falls suddenly ill from heat stroke. Mrs. LaRue suggests that she and Ike care for her cats while Mrs. Hibbins is in the hospital, inviting them along on the cruise. But cats aren't allowed, and Mrs. LaRue ...

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Overview


Bestselling, award-winning author/illustrator Mark Teague makes readers laugh aloud when LaRue goes on vacation with Mrs. Hibbins's cats!

Ike's plans for a peaceful cruise with Mrs. LaRue are thwarted when their neighbor, Mrs. Hibbins, falls suddenly ill from heat stroke. Mrs. LaRue suggests that she and Ike care for her cats while Mrs. Hibbins is in the hospital, inviting them along on the cruise. But cats aren't allowed, and Mrs. LaRue decides to take them all on a week's vacation of road-tripping.

Ike begs and begs for bus fare in his letters to Mrs. Hibbins, but why does she not respond? As they drive farther and farther from the coast, his wistful dreams of (cont'd)

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  • LaRue Across America
    LaRue Across America  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When avid letter-writer Ike LaRue's neighbor, Mrs. Hibbins, is hospitalized, LaRue's owner, Gertrude, cancels their cruise to take the neighbor's cats on a road trip. A distraught canine writes harried postcards to Mrs. Hibbins, imploring her to let him send them home, while doing his part to torment the skittish kitties. Growing weary, Ike writes, "Is it really a ‘Grand' Canyon? In my sad state I can no longer tell." Luckily, "fate" intervenes in Death Valley, and the travelers get their cruise. With Ike's memories and exaggerated fantasies captured in b&w thought bubbles, Teague's cagey cat caricatures and Ike's melodramatics are spot-on hilarious. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Teague's energetic and absolutely incorrigible wire fox—terrier Ike is loose again! This time it's an auto trip across the U.S. with his formidable owner, Mrs. LaRue, at the wheel of her pink station wagon. It's high summer; neighbor Mrs. Hibbins has succumbed to the heat, so despite Ike's hopes for a Mexican cruise, he and Mrs. LaRue will take their neighbor's two evil cats along on the journey. Readers familiar with Ike's former adventures (especially Detective LaRue) will know this is a terrible idea. Those who aren't will quickly discover the deep antagonism from Ike's plaintive postcards to Mrs. Hibbins back home. Teague uses his trademark "split screen" technique to contrast reality (in full color) with Ike's imaginative version in black-and-white. Big two-page spreads from unusual, sometimes dizzying, perspectives show Ike planning to mail the cats home in a postal box, stealing their fish platters at a restaurant, and hogging space in the backseat. The best scenes occur in the West: Mrs. LaRue, Ike, and the cats perilously descending the Grand Canyon on mule back and the pink car stalled in Death Valley as Mrs. LaRue discovers a dog bone in the engine, a turkey vulture perching inquiringly on the roof. Readers or listeners will be ready for the surprising finale, with Ike and the cats reconciled (probably not forever). Kids, no doubt, will find echoes of car trips with siblings and relief at reaching a liberating destination. Although this adventure from coast to coast isn't as funny as LaRue for Mayor, inventive Ike is irresistible, while his itinerary can be traced on a large end-paper map. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—Veteran letter writer Ike is back with the same feisty determination that established his hilarious voice in the earlier books. In this title, the disgruntled dog has a bone to pick with his neighbor, Mrs. Hibbins. She has been hospitalized due to a heat wave in Snort City, leaving Mrs. LaRue and Ike in charge of her two cats. Ike is incredulous that he has to change their summer vacation plans. Instead of his long-awaited ocean cruise, he'll now be taking a road trip with the detestable felines. The story is structured around Ike's cross-country adventures with his unwanted traveling companions and his ceaseless efforts to convey the supreme injustice of the situation to Mrs. Hibbins. Each of the postcards is a priceless piece of self-delusion, as Ike feigns concern for Mrs. LaRue and Mrs. Hibbins while his own motivations are quite clear. Teague's ear for his character's endless complaints is pitch perfect, and his wonderful illustrations are laugh-out-loud funny. Large spreads with the postcards superimposed on the crazy goings-on and expressive faces on the animals and humans make this a winner.—Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

Ike, that cute, crafty canine, is back in his fourth adventure. A planned cruise trip with his owner, Mrs. LaRue, is foiled when a neighbor lands in the hospital, stranding her two cats. Cruise ship becomes road trip across the country with the two cats creating a cat-as-trophy at each new juncture. Ike's postcards to the neighbor become increasingly desperate. From Pea Gravel, S.D., he writes: "The local postmaster claims it would be illegal for me to send live cats through the mail." Crossing the prairie, Ike is in the back seat of the car holding two signs: "Bad Cats! S.O.S." When Mrs. LaRue's car conks out in the desert, a First Mate on a cruise ship rescues them. Cleverly designed, the comic illustrations spare no whisker for laugh-out-loud humor, especially the feline facial expressions—sticking out their tongues, shooting slingshots. As in previous outings, Teague plays black-and-white scenes (dogs are colorblind, don't you know) against full-color acrylics to great effect. The endpapers are a map of the United States with their (incredibly illogical) route marked. This furry fiasco is fabulous fun. No pussyfooting here, just the cat's meow of a doggie's tale of woe. Bone Voyage.(Picture book. 4-9)

Kirkus Reviews

Ike, that cute, crafty canine, is back in his fourth adventure. A planned cruise trip with his owner, Mrs. LaRue, is foiled when a neighbor lands in the hospital, stranding her two cats. Cruise ship becomes road trip across the country with the two cats creating a cat-as-trophy at each new juncture. Ike's postcards to the neighbor become increasingly desperate. From Pea Gravel, S.D., he writes: "The local postmaster claims it would be illegal for me to send live cats through the mail." Crossing the prairie, Ike is in the back seat of the car holding two signs: "Bad Cats! S.O.S." When Mrs. LaRue's car conks out in the desert, a First Mate on a cruise ship rescues them. Cleverly designed, the comic illustrations spare no whisker for laugh-out-loud humor, especially the feline facial expressions—sticking out their tongues, shooting slingshots. As in previous outings, Teague plays black-and-white scenes (dogs are colorblind, don't you know) against full-color acrylics to great effect. The endpapers are a map of the United States with their (incredibly illogical) route marked. This furry fiasco is fabulous fun. No pussyfooting here, just the cat's meow of a doggie's tale of woe. Bone Voyage.(Picture book. 4-9)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439915021
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: LaRue Books Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 210,172
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Teague

Mark Teague is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator whose books include the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling How Do Dinosaurs... series, the LaRue series, FIREHOUSE!, FUNNY FARM, and many other humorous picture books. Mark lives in New York state with his wife and their two daughters.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 19, 2014

    This is a very clever book.  My third grade students loved it.  

    This is a very clever book.  My third grade students loved it.  I did different activities and comparisons with the other LaRue Series books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    More LaRue Fun

    My kids all enjoy the LaRue the Dog series of books. The pictures are fun and imaginative and the story is engaging. This one is sure to please anyone who longs for the open road of adventure or wants a look at America's great attractions.

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