Travels with my family /
by Marie-Louise Gay and Davie Homel..
imprint
Toronto : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, c2006.
description
119 p. : ill.
ISBN
0888996888 :, 9780888996886 :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
More Details
added author
imprint
Toronto : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, c2006.
isbn
0888996888 :
9780888996886 :
abstract
When you have parents who like to vacation in out-of-the-way places, even getting to where you want to go can be an adventure.
catalogue key
6132071
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Family vacations are supposed to be something to look forward to. Unless, that is, your parents have a habit of turning every family outing into a risky proposition by accident, of course. So instead of dream vacations to DisneyWorld and motels with swimming pools and water slides, these parents are always looking for that out-of-the-way destination where other tourists don't go. Even if it means driving for hours to get to the middle of nowhere, countless back-seat games of Twenty Questions that end badly, and reading the How to Change a Tire chapter out of the owner's manual. To say nothing of the adventures in the destinations themselves eating grasshoppers in Mexico, forgettingthe tide schedule while collecting sand dollars off the coast of Georgia, and mistaking alligators for logs in the middle ofOkefenokee Swamp. Parents and kids alike may well recognize themselves in this hilarious family travelogue, and may even be inspired to pull out the road map to search for an off-the-beaten- track destination of their own.Marie-Louise Gay is one of Canada's most popular and widely published children's author-illustrators. Her Stella books have been published in more than fifteen languages and continue to win high acclaim, while Good Morning, Sam and Good Night, Sam have been praised by The Horn Book, School Library Journal and The New York Times. Her most recent book is Caramba. She has won two Governor General's Awards, the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, and has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.Born and raised in Chicago, David Homel is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, journalist and translator. He has won the Governor General's Award for translation, and his most recent novel, The Speaking Cure, won the Hugh McLennan Prize and the Jewish Public Library Award for fiction. David Homel and Marie-Louise Gay live in Montreal with their two sons and their cat, Miro.
First Chapter
We had been hearing about Hurricane Bob on the radio all week long. After a while, I gotpretty tired of it. How can you take a hurricane seriously when its name is Bob? No offense to people named Bob, but it's just not a very scary name. If I was in charge of naming hurricanes, I would call them Hurricane Hulk, or Demon, or Destroyer. Now that would scare people! We had rented a cottage right by the ocean. We were so close to the water that you could sit on the front porch and spit watermelon seeds into the Atlantic. Or almost. And there were blueberry bushes, too, with tiny fruit the size of a baby's fingernail. My brother and I picked the berries right off the bushes for breakfast. The other fun things you could eat were the sea urchins that lived in the water. They were brown,prickly animals with poisonous spines. You smashed them open with a hatchet, and there was an orange part inside that supposedly tasted really good, like the ocean. Or so my father said. I tried one, and that was enough. My brother pretended to throw up just looking at them. Our cat, Miro, loved Maine. It was a lot better than being in a boiling-hot car. He had never been to the sea before. Every evening, he went down to the pebbly beach to chase the little green crabs that lived there. When he caught one, or, should I say, when one caught him by pinching his nose, hewished he hadn't, because crabs never let go. But Miro never learned. He caught furry brown wood mice, too, and left them on the porch in front of the door. My mother would scream every time she stepped on one in her bare feet, first thing in the morning.
Reviews
Review Quotes
...sprinkled with humor, moments of discovery, and an appreciation for the beauty and diversity of less-lauded destinations....a good choice for those new to chapter books or for struggling readers.
The family's episodic adventures, relayed by the older brother in a droll, first-person narrative, are often comical and sometimes suspenseful as they offer glimpses of natural wonders, extreme weather, and exotic locales.
Written in the voice of a kid humouring his parents and plentifully illustrated with gay's pen-and-ink drawings...this may make those who aren't going on exotic holidays glad they get to stay home.
These hilarious adventures sparkle...Marie-Louise Gay (with her co-writer and husband David Homel) gets the characters, their inner thoughts and outward dialogue, bang on.
...[Gay's] and Homel's prose is conversational without being lax, lively without sliding into farce, and gently sardonic rather than the hard-edged, smart-aleck tone so familiar in contemporary middle-reader fiction told in the first person....each chapter makes a perfect read-aloud, perhaps even for the back seat of a car. Within each mini-travelogue, there's enough humour and mild excitement to hold attention, and the prose is polished bright, clean, and supple so that it almost reads itself aloud. An added attraction are the many black-and-white drawings by Gay in her characteristic style: big-headed children with minimal features and a loveable gangliness of limb; lively evocations of weather and landscape with a few quick lines; and a sense of energy, curiosity, and delight in the world.
Geographic and scientific tidbits are cleverly embedded in each story, often within some funny-in-retrospect detail that is part of a funny, well described larger picture. Readers won't even notice they're learning something...Homel and Gay should collaborate more often.
...an amusing look at family life on the road...this story will entertain young armchair travelers. Recommended.
...highly humorous chapter book...
If you want a new read aloud and great incentive to get kids sharing their family vacation stories, here's the book for you.
...it has the ring of truth for anyone who has ever been forced to spend long hours in the back seat of a car.
...the prose is polished bright, clean, and supple so that it almost reads itself aloud.
This item was reviewed in:
Quill & Quire, March 2006
Globe & Mail, April 2006
Booklist, May 2006
School Library Journal, August 2006
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
Instead of dream vacations to Disney World and motels with swimming pools and water slides, the parents in Travels with My Family insist on obscure destinations — even if it means driving for hours to get to the middle of nowhere, countless back-seat games of Twenty Questions that end badly, and reading aloud the How to Change a Tire” chapter from the Owner’s Manual. To say nothing of what happens when they arrive: eating grasshoppers in Mexico, forgetting the tide schedule while collecting sand dollars off the coast of Georgia, and mistaking alligators for logs in the middle of Okefenokee Swamp. Husband-and-wife team David Homel and Marie-Louise Gay have combined their writing and illustrating talents with their own family memories to produce a very different kind of travelogue. Travels with My Family is told from the point of view of a long-suffering big brother who must fulfill many roles in this eccentric family — keep little brother out of trouble; humor artist Mom while she seeks out beauty and inspiration in the least likely places; and discourage nearsighted, tone-deaf Dad from pulling out the road map to search for yet another strange destination.
Main Description
Family vacations are supposed to be something to look forward to. Unless, that is, your parents have a habit of turning every outing into a risky proposition by accident, of course. So instead of dream vacations to Disney World and motels with swimming pools, these parents are always looking for that out-of-the-way destination where other tourists don't go. Their adventures involve eating grasshoppers in Mexico, forgetting the tide schedule while collecting sand dollars off the coast of Georgia, and mistaking alligators for logs in the middle of Okefenokee Swamp.Travels with My Family is told from the point of view of a long-suffering big brother who must fulfill many roles in this eccentric family: keep little brother out of trouble, humor artist Mom, and discourage Dad from pulling out the road map to search for yet another off-the-beaten-track destination.Husband-and-wife team Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel and have combined their prodigious writing and illustrating talents with their own family memories to produce a very different travelogue.
Back Cover Copy
When you hear the word vacation, what do you think of? Beaches and warm water? Nice hotels with swimming pools? Giant waterslides and amusement parks and miniature golf? Maybe even Disneyland?Me,too.But not my parents...So,every vacation, my little brother and I have to go with them to some wild, faraway destination where no one else ever goes.That's calle "off the beaten track." No tourist traps and no line ups. No wonder! Nobody wants to go there!When you have parents who like to vacation in out-of-the-way places, even getting to where you want to go can be an adventure...
Long Description
Instead of dream vacations to Disney World and motels with swimming pools and water slides, the parents in "Travels with My Family insist on obscure destinations -- even if it means driving for hours to get to the middle of nowhere, countless back-seat games of Twenty Questions that end badly, and reading aloud the "How to Change a Tire" chapter from the Owner's Manual. To say nothing of what happens when they arrive: eating grasshoppers in Mexico, forgetting the tide schedule while collecting sand dollars off the coast of Georgia, and mistaking alligators for logs in the middle of Okefenokee Swamp. Husband-and-wife team David Homel and Marie-Louise Gay have combined their writing and illustrating talents with their own family memories to produce a very different kind of travelogue. "Travels with My Family is told from the point of view of a long-suffering big brother who must fulfill many roles in this eccentric family -- keep little brother out of trouble; humor artist Mom while she seeks out beauty and inspiration in the least likely places; and discourage nearsighted, tone-deaf Dad from pulling out the road map to search for yet another strange destination.

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