Friday, November 29, 2013

Everyday Miracles

Bob Graham

For a parent, every change in a baby's activities feels giant: holding up one's head, sitting up, and taking a first step. For an older sibling, it's just part of his or her experience. That's what Bob Graham captures so well in The Silver Button.

Life is going on all around Jonathan and his family. Laundry dries on a rack near the blanket where his older sister, Jodie, draws and the dog naps; a woman pushes a stroller outside the window. As Jonathan sways and tilts on his way to his first step, Jodie draws the final silver button on the boot of the duck in her drawing. Jonathan and Jodie's mother is playing on her pipe in the kitchen and misses the whole thing.

As author and artist Bob Graham moves the perspective farther and farther back, readers see that a baby is born across town, and people are at their desks working. They are completely unaware of this giant milestone in Jonathan's life. Jodie is his witness and alerts her mother, but continues with her drawing.

Yet we know the significance of Jonathan's milestone by the image of his mother's enveloping embrace of her boy and the look on her face--both pride at his accomplishment and sorrow at... what? having missed it? the idea that he's no longer her baby? Graham wisely leaves the mother's thoughts unspoken. This insightful book allows readers of all ages to appreciate life's significant moments and the importance of pausing to honor them.

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