May 12 – National Odometer Day

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About the Holiday

In 1847 William Clayton invented a little add-on to the automobile that provides perspective, history, and interesting information on our beloved cars—the odometer! Whether you like to keep track of how many miles you travel on a trip, how economical your gas mileage is, when your next tune-up is due, or just marvel at how long your car has lasted, the numbers on the odometer tell the story. Today, take your car out for a spin—perhaps to the car wash or out to the open road!

Are We There Yet?

By Dan Santat

 

When you’re invited to a very special birthday party and it’s far away, what do you do? Pack up the car, of course, and head out on an adventure! Going to Grandma’s house is always exciting—at least for the first hour, but after that each minute seems to take for- ev-er. You might even think “Are we there yet?” or “This is taking forever.” Wait! Did you say that out loud? The look on your parents’ faces tell you you did!

You can only stare out the window at the landscape for so long. “But what happens when your brain becomes too bored? That’s when your whole world can turn upside down. Minutes feel like hours. Hours turn to days. Days seem like months and then years. Pretty soon that “quick trip” feels like a million years.

As you ride in the car, tucked in the back seat, feeling a little sick, needing to use the bathroom, your butt growing numb—and bored, bored, bored—could time actually be going backward? While you’re zipping down the highway suddenly a steam train is chugging past, trying to outrun a team of bandits. Now pirates have captured your car and sent it down the plank toward the briny deep! I hope you’re good with a lance because somehow your family’s the main attraction at the royal jousting tournament. And there’s no stopping for the bathroom in Ancient Egypt, or you’ll be put to work building a pyramid.

You think you’ve reached the end of your patience? You’ve actually reached the beginning of time. You may love dinosaurs, but you don’t belong in the Cretaceous Period. So play fetch with T-Rex one time and then climb aboard his back for a wild ride back.

But as quickly as you turned back time you can find yourself in the future—a future you don’t even recognize, where everything you love is gone. So take time now—yes, while you’re bored, bored, bored—to really look around you and see what’s going on. After all, you don’t want to miss this party—it’s the one you’ve been invited to.

Dan Santat’s Are We There Yet? is a rambunctious reminder to enjoy the moment you’re in, because Time is a wily beast that creeps up on you when you’re not paying attention. The art in this book is the star, with its full, two-page vibrant spreads and topsy-turvy format. An old steam train is chased by bandits in the western heat. A rag-tag crew of scallywag pirates menace the family at sword point. Crowds roar at a medieval jousting tournament. Ancient Egyptians toil in the golden sun overshadowed by the Sphynx and pyramids. And it’s love at first sight when the boy comes eye to eye with T-rex in the lush jungles of early Earth.

The scenes of the future, complete with flying cars, neon colors, and helpful robots make clever use of QR codes, and kids will relate to the funny twist ending.

Ages 4 – 8

Little Brown and Company, 2016 | ISBN 978-0316199995

Gardening for Wildlife Activity

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Who’s in the Garden Dot-to-Dots

 

Completing a dot-to-dot puzzle can be a little like taking a trip—you go from stop to stop, not knowing exactly what you’ll find at the end. In these dot-to-dots, you’ll discover who’s hiding in the garden.

Printable dot-to-dot, page 1

Printable  dot-to-dot, page 2

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