In the style of a classic cumulative rhyme, the children undo all of Dad's hard work cleaning the family car.
A modern House-That-Jack-Built tale with an ending sure to please parents. From its sparkle, readers can tell that Dad spent a lot of time spiffing up the van . . . just in time for a car trip with brother, sister and baby. Before the end, the van will be sporting a mixture of candy, French fries, ketchup and a variety of toys, added one by one in the familiar pattern. As a one-horned moose covered in candy corn careens off Dad's head, he finally realizes the mess they've made, and the rhyme changes slightly. "We are the kids, early next morn," who scrub, wash, sweep, pack up and pick up. Readers can see the pride on the faces in the last spread: "This is the van that we cleaned!" Dad is also looking hopeful that the work invested will deter future mishaps. Ernst's illustrations are delightfully detailed, with wonderfully expressive faces on the characters, including the blissfully ignorant father. Left-hand pages show an up-close view of the object introduced in the rhyme, while readers can search for it in the right-hand picture of the van. A great read-aloud that's sure to get readers involved. (Picture book. 3-7) (Kirkus Reviews)