“Let’s Go See It” is a children’s book by Robert Foster Graham Jr. of Warren. The book’s fun animal characters, a youngster named Li’l Dell and Uncle Buck, travel to various locations in Uncle Buck’s magic RV, which can fly, drive, and seemingly get the pair anywhere they want to be in mere hours. Following a disappointing birthday, Li’l Dell is excited to see Uncle Buck show up to take them on a trip, and off they go. The two go camping and fishing, hit a snowy mountain to go snowboarding, head to the beach for some surfing, and learn skateboarding. They also enjoy fish, ice cream and other treats. Along the way, Uncle Buck delivers a few life lessons about sticking with things, finding your own rhythm, and getting through tough times to find happiness on the other side.
The book is definitely on the long side, especially for younger kids – but the illustrations are clearly geared toward younger children. And some of the life lessons are given by Uncle Buck in long speeches. That having been said, this reviewer read the entire book in one sitting to an enthusiastic first-grader who offered the following feedback:
“Those pictures gave me lots of ideas of skills and adventures I want to try. And they might give other people ideas of skills and adventures they want to try.”
Said kiddo also nodded sagely and said “That’s true” when Uncle Buck reminded Li’l Dell that listening to your body and resting when you need to helps prevent injury. So, the lessons were getting through despite the book’s length.
The pair also decides to eat at a generic “African” restaurant when they travel to the Big City and Uncle Buck asks Li’l Dell what country they wish to discover more information about. Given Africa’s tremendously wide geographic range and cultural and culinary diversity (and the fact that Africa is home to over 50 countries), this felt reductive. The sign above the restaurant in the illustration notes that the two are at Irma’s Ethiopian Café, so we do know which specific cuisine they choose, but in the text, it’s referred to as The African Café.
Li’l Dell’s gender is not obvious and is never stated, which is nice because children of any gender might be able to see themselves in the young character. And the book held the interest of a child who would have otherwise been watching a television show about singing, dancing cartoon characters, and that in itself is a feat.