cover image Bringing the Farmhouse Home

Bringing the Farmhouse Home

Gloria Whelan. Simon & Schuster, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-671-74984-2

As its title suggests, this unusually atmospheric picture book celebrates the passage of traditions from one generation to the next. After Grandma's death, her five grown children and their families gather at her farmhouse to divvy up her possessions--and to revisit their memories. The child narrator, for example, longs to own Grandma's quilt, which ``had a patch from the apron Grandma wore when she baked cookies and another . . . from Grandpa's shirt.'' Individual tensions at this difficult gathering are sensitively acknowledged and realistically resolved as each relative receives a share of the goods according to the family custom of drawing lots. Rowland's rosy, warmly lit, full-spread watercolors confer a Jessie Wilcox Smith kind of old-fashioned charm, very much in harmony with this book's message about family unity. All ages. (Aug.)