We had a surprise snowstorm here last week. The devastation was something that I had previously thought was no longer possible in this day and age. People in the area are still without power – sleeping to the hum of generators feverishly working to pump water out of basements (the rain hasn’t stopped) and keep freezers cold.
We were lucky. I lost power on Friday and got it back on Monday night. In the meantime, the entire family (sister/brother and spouses, nieces and nephew) camped together at my parents house with a wood stove burning and a two-inch battery driven television providing news updates. Late Saturday – the party moved to my sister’s house when her power returned.
It was inconvenient. It was a tiring. It was cold. But it was also amazing! Petty things no longer mattered – everyone pitched in to carry wood, cook giant meals of rapidly defrosting food, share what they had in flashlights and batteries. And the best part of all? Waking up in the morning to find that my nieces had snuck into bed with me to “snuggle.”
So when I thought about what book to feature this week – there was no doubt it was “The Relatives Came” by Cynthia Rylant. It’s the story of a summer visit by relatives from Virginia. All the joys and pitfalls of having relatives stay for an extended period of time are depicted!! The book is RIPE for text-to-self connections and is a great read aloud for the younger grades. It could certainly help kick the old “What I did last summer” essay up a notch!! For you Traits users, it is also a great example of sentence fluency and I have a lesson posted on the WritingFrameworks wiki based on it.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s just one of those picture books that just might have been written more for the adults than for children.
“When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together” ... forever!