Book: The Relatives Came
Genre: Children – General
Ages: 2-3 on up
In a rainbow-colored station wagon that smelled like a real car, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars.
When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer.
Warning: reading this book may inspire phone calls to parents and grandparents or, worse, may cause you to take leave of your senses and go on a long road trip with small children. Proceed at your own peril.
For this Memorial Day weekend, I’d like to recommend The Relatives Came. This is a really sweet book about the love of extended family. It resonated with me as a child because although we never lived close geographically to any of our aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents, whenever we did get the chance to visit, we made up for lost time. It resonates with me as a new mom for much the same reasons. Although fortunate enough to live close to one of my brothers, most of our family is spread out across the country and beyond. When my baby was born, every single member of both my and my husband’s families found space in their schedules and budgets to make the trek out to meet him. All of those visits were so special to me.
The Relatives Came celebrates those people who are willing to leave hearth and home and those people who are willing to host lots of extra people, all in order to maintain and strengthen family bonds. The story and the illustrations both are beautiful. This would be a great book to read with a child before visiting or being visited by family, and would also make a great hostess gift if your family goes a-visiting.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an 11 hour road trip with a five month old to get ready for…