Summer is the time for road trips. Hearing these two simple words together could elicit a wide variety of emotions, ranging from wonderful memories in the car as a family to a bit of anxiety as you remember listening to your child scream for hours on end (both extremes that I myself have experienced). Either way, reading books can set the stage for the fun and excitement that comes along with road trips (and a few unexpected surprises thrown in for good measure). :)
Here are several books about (or including) road trips:
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
This is one of my favorite read-alouds because almost every child can relate to what it is like to either stay with relatives or have relatives staying in your house! Although this book has more to do with what the family does once they arrive (hugging, playing, and breathing together while sleeping), it is still a great read-aloud for road trips as it describes the family getting up at 4 in the morning and packing a cooler of bologna sandwiches and finally arriving after driving all day long and into the night. This is truly a beloved book in our house.
Fred and Ted’s Road Trip by Peter Eastman
Fred and Ted, the stars from Big Dog…Little Dog, are back in this easy reader by Peter Eastman. The rhyming text and humorous antics of these two are sure to capture the attention of young readers. As they set off for a road trip adventure, things don’t go quite the way they planned…including muddy roads, tire problems, and storms! If your road trips have ever included any unforeseen challenges such as these, your kids will definitely relate!
Clifford Takes a Trip by Norman Bridwell
Emily Elizabeth and her family are headed for a vacation to the mountains…while Clifford has to stay home because he is too big to travel. He is so sad that he manages to make his own way to join them (and ends up causing some problems in the process)…making the family rethink how they can take Clifford along with them in the years to come! Both of the boys really enjoyed this Clifford tale!
The Night Before Summer Vacation by Natasha Wing
This cute rhyming book is all about road trip preparations…making lists, packing suitcases, loading the car, and leaving early in the morning. Just as soon as the family loaded up in the car, the ever-present “Are we there yet?” question was asked for the first time. :)
Arthur’s Family Vacation by Marc Brown
This story from the Arthur series is probably more appropriate for school-age children. Arthur isn’t very excited about a vacation with only his family because he wants to go to camp with his friend Buster. He is even more disappointed when it rains during almost all of their beach vacation. Arthur eventually turns his attitude around and helps his family to have a great trip, despite the rain. We really enjoyed the book, although I didn’t appreciate Arthur’s initial negative attitude about spending time with his family.
On the Road by Lucy Nolan
This short chapter book managed to keep the attention of both boys. If your child is a dog lover, he/she will love this book! It is humorous and playful, written in first person perspective from a dog riding along (and occasionally attempting to drive herself) on a short journey with her master and her best doggy-pal.
Road Trip by Roger Eschbacher
This cute picture book is about a family who is traveling to their grandparent’s house for a family reunion. From sleeping in motels to buying postcards, this story is told in short rhymes. Although some of the rhymes are a little corny, it is a fun story and the illustrations are beautifully painted.
Are We There Yet, Daddy? by Virginia Walters
Based on the most common phrases heard during a road trip with children, this rhyming book tells the story of a father and son who are leaving the city to visit their Grandma in the country. Every 10 miles, the son asks, “Are We There Yet, Daddy?” and his Dad responds by asking his son to look at the map. Readers count down the miles left in the trip throughout the book, counting backwards by tens from 100 miles until they reach their destination.
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Car Trip by Stan & Jan Berenstain
The beloved Berenstain Bears are back and this time they are taking a family trip, much to the dismay of Brother and Sister who don’t find a car trip nearly as fun as their parents do. They come around by the end of the book, though, and acknowledge that Mama Bear and Papa Bear really do know best!
Duck Duck Moose by Dave Horowitz
Duck, Other Duck, and Moose head south for the winter on a long car trip all the way to Florida. Moose, who was hesitant to leave his Northern home, ends up loving Florida. When it is time to head back, Moose is sad but finds a way to bring a little bit of Florida to Great North Woods. The illustrations are comic-like and the story line is humorous…a fun read for kids of all ages!
What is your favorite book about road trips and/or vacations???
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