They came from Virginia, when their grapes were barely purple enough to be picked. They left at four in the morning, and drove all day, looking at all the strange houses and landscapes. When they finally arrive, they spend their time hugging everybody, eating all the melons and strawberries, helping tend the garden, crowding the beds, and generally making a happy hullabaloo. We all know what it feels like to have extended family over. The invasion, the crowding, not having one’s house to one’s self. But there’s also the love, the companionship, the happy bustle of living with people who love you enough to drive all day to visit you. Cynthia Rylant, with beautiful pencil drawings by Stephen Gammel, effectively captures all these emotions in one simple picture book.
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