Monday, October 9, 2017
Home in the Rain, written and illustrated by Bob Graham. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2017. $23.00 ages 4 and up
turning the water white,
and it rained on the fishermen,
wet as the fish below.
Young Marcus, water
running down his neck,
his fingers smelling of bait,
wished he were
somewhere else ... "
I have such admiration for the stories Bob Graham tells. In this family story we meet Francie, her mother and Baby Sister as they set out for home in a rainstorm. They have been to visit Grandma and want to be home for Dad's return. It's a long trip.
As they go, we are witness to the relentless rain and the many small moments happening outside their small red car. The traffic, the give-and-take of the wind, the passing rigs, the animals trying to find shelter from the wet are all shown in artwork that perfectly matches the quiet text. It is signature Bob Graham, and what makes every one of his books very special for me.
Washed off the road into a picnic area by a passing rig, they wait out the storm. Francie busies herself with writing on the foggy windows, moving from seat to seat, and wanting to know more about Baby Sister, not yet born. There is a window waiting for a name to be drawn on it. As they have their lunch, their conversation turns to a name for the baby, Daddy's return, and reassurances to allay the oft-asked 'when' questions.
Back on the road and a stop for gas leads to a very special moment, shared by the two ... well, almost three.
"Perhaps it was something unremarkable,
not to be seen by strangers passing in the rain.
For it was just a mom lost in thought
and a small girl dancing.
"Francie, come here,"
As they share their small, lovely moment, Mr. Graham (as he often does, and always wondrously) returns us to thoughts of Grandma and some of the creatures mentioned during their journey. His ability to convey such wonder in everyday life is quite remarkable. That is why his books do and will always occupy space on my 'keepers' shelves.
Full of warmth and heart, this is another Graham book that will be shared time and again, with stops to notice the often humorous, always noteworthy details. Just lovely!