cover image Coming Home

Coming Home

Greg Ruth. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-05547-7

As joyful reunions between soldiers and loved ones unfold around him on the tarmac, a blond-haired boy in a red T-shirt and camo shorts wonders where his soldier could be. Then, finally, it happens: “Mom!” Ruth’s beautifully observed, nearly wordless picture book combines journalistic immediacy with the intensely dramatic framings of a graphic novel, reflecting Ruth’s background in the medium (including the 2013 comic The Lost Boy). Working in tones of sunlight and khaki, Ruth moves his protagonist in and out of the foreground, almost as if he’s asking readers to scout for him in the same way that he is looking for his mother. “Sheesh!” the boy thinks, as he passes lovers locked in a kiss—a moment of levity amid his increasing anxiety. Ruth brings his story to a close at the perfect emotional moment: the boy leaps into the arms of his kneeling mother, and they hug each other tightly, their eyes closed as they savor every second. A stirring tribute to the resilience of both soldiers and those they must leave at home. Ages 4–7. Agent: Allen Spiegel, Allen Spiegel Fine Arts. (Nov.)