They're There on Their Vacation

illus. by Jim Paillot. 32p. Millbrook. Nov. 2015. Tr $26.65. ISBN 9780761390336.
Gr 2–4—Cleary is perhaps best known for his "Words Are CATegorical" series, which teaches young readers about parts of speech, grammar, and wordplay. This story, however, has a plot in addition to providing language instruction. The book follows the Tuckabee family on a driving vacation to several unusual and humorous locations, such as the World's Largest Underwear and the Cheezie Pop factory; along the way, kids learn to tell the difference between the words they're, there, and their. Paillot's cartoon illustrations are full of detail and color, and there's plenty to notice here. For example, the family's overnight stay at the Indoor Camping Acres depicts the Tuckabees doing everything from filing out crosswords to watching cowboy movies on television. The endpapers feature a stylized map of the entire trip. The story is funny and stands on its own.
VERDICT A hilarious and worthwhile addition to collections serving elementary school students.

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