cover image Georgia Music

Georgia Music

Helen V. Griffith. Greenwillow Books, $16 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-688-06071-8

An old man lives by himself in a cabin in Georgia; in the summer he works in his garden. One summer his granddaughter comes for a long visit: ""The old man never said how he felt about that, but he didn't seem to mind.'' They worked together in the mornings, but at noon, ``It was so quiet they could hear the leaves touching each other, and the bumblebees bumbling, and the crickets and grasshoppers whirring and scratching.'' At night, he plays songs on the mouth organ. When he gets too old to live in the cabin, he goes North to live with the girl and her mother. He's sad, but the little girl, on the mouth organ, recreates the songs he once played at night and the noise of the cricket chirps and tree-frog trills, bringing the Georgia music back for them both. This is a lovely, lyrical story, told with sensitivity; Stevenson's illustrations capture the stoical character of the old man, whether he is hoeing in a straw hat and suspenders or in a sweater and tie, shoulders a little more slumped, staring at the city lights. The sunset-hued watercolors beautifully evoke the sights and sounds of a hot Georgia summer. (5-8)