Lovingly, Crews explores the old homestead through the eyes of the four returning kids; though light comes from a kerosene lamp, and water from the well, Grandma's place is spacious and well kept, and there's a barn, a stable, eggs to look for, and "plenty of water for fishing and swimming." Best, the whole family gathers—"We talked so much we hardly had time to eat." Crews captures both the children's joy and enthusiasm and his own nostalgia in a nicely understated text and, especially, in his wonderfully evocative illustrations. Adopting a more realistic style than he used in his two Caldecott Honor books, Crews nicely accommodates the many period details with a subtle palette that emphasizes browns and greens to convey a richly sensory experience.
A grand alternative to the plethora of predictable books about white kids visiting grandparents on stereotypical family farms. (Picture book. 4-8)