cover image Come a Tide

Come a Tide

George Ella Lyon. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05854-1

Four days and nights of rain and snow in the mountains and, Grandma predicts, it'll ``come a tide.'' And indeed, fragile gardens are swept away, pigs and chickens float merrily by, and families scramble for higher ground. When the water recedes, everyone pitches in, excavating household goods--their ``buried treasures''--with good cheer. This is a gem of a picture book, a seamless collaboration between author and artist. Lyon's folksy narrative captures the cadence of country speech without striking a false or condescending note. And Gammell memorably renders the strength and individuality of mountain folk. Using drips and splotches of watercolors as well as drawing more traditional, slanting rain, he brings the reader into the storm, making it seem as though it has rained on the book itself. One feels buoyed by the characters' matter-of-fact resilience; this is a striking and thoroughly captivating portrait of grace and humor, in the face of adversity. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)