The Road Home

Katie Cotton, illus. by Sarah Jacoby. Abrams, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2374-2
Sober, dark, and elegant, Cotton’s poetry imagines the voices of forest parents speaking to their young as they prepare for winter. Newcomer Jacoby contributes luminous watercolors that view the wild landscape through the animals’ eyes: tiny nests, tree branches, and intricate tangles of vines and weeds. Cotton (Counting Lions) concentrates on the struggle to survive and stay fed, and on the words of truth and reassurance old share with young. “Our wings are sore,/ There’s far to go/ before our flight is flown,” says a migrating songbird to its offspring as they wing across a great river, a ray of sunlight illuminating the trees below. “This road is hard, this road is long,/ this road that leads us home,” the animals repeat. A mother mouse builds a nest with her baby, wolves stalk prey (“We’ve claws to grip and jaws to bite”), and rabbits escape them and take refuge under mounds of snow: “Let’s curl up close, lost in leaves,/ lost in velvet sleep,” the mother rabbit murmurs. Cotton and Jacoby bring wild lives close, observing them with intimacy and giving them dignity. Ages 5–7. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017
Release date: 03/01/2017
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-84780-803-5
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