Cover image for Home at last
Title:
Home at last
ISBN:
9780061349737

9780061349744
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Summary:
"After Lester is adopted from his foster home by Daddy Albert and Daddy Rich, he can't fall asleep in his new bed. What will it take to make Lester feel home at last?"--
Holds:

Available:*

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Summary

Summary

A poignant, timely, and universal picture book about fear, adoption, family, and the joy of fatherhood, written by beloved and award-winning author Vera B. Williams and illustrated by the author in collaboration with two-time Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka.

After Lester is adopted by Daddy Albert and Daddy Rich, he develops a big problem--he can't fall asleep. Night after night he creeps into his parents' room and attempts to crawl in between his two daddies, confident that if he's with them and their dog, Wincka, nothing bad will happen to him ever again. But every night, Lester's new dads walk him back to his own room, hoping that eventually Lester will get used to the new house and his new family and feel as though he belongs. They buy him a bike and take him for ice cream. They make cocoa and introduce him to his cousins. But no matter how happy Lester seems during the day, he still gets scared and worried at night! It's the sweet dog Wincka who finally solves the problem when she climbs into Lester's bed and promptly falls asleep, serving as both his pillow and his protector. Lester feels home at last.

Vera B. Williams died on October 16, 2015, while still working on this book with her dear friend and fellow artist Chris Raschka. Chris Raschka's astonishing and glorious full-color paintings are based on sketches by Vera B. Williams and honor both her spirit and her intent. Home at Last is a universal, timely, and timeless book about the right of all children to belong someplace safe.


Author Notes

Vera Baker Williams was born on January 28, 1927 in Hollywood, California. She studied at the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan and Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where she received a BFA in graphic arts. She co-found the Gate Hill Cooperative and the Collaberg School, in Stony Point, New York.

She worked as a teacher and artist before becoming a writer and illustrator of children's books. She won a Caldecott Medal award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book award in the picture book category in 1983 for A Chair for My Mother, a Caldecott Medal award in 1991 for "More More More" Said the Baby: Three Love Stories, the Boston Globe-Horn Book award in fiction in 1994 for Scooter, and the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature in 2009.

She was a member of the executive committee of the War Resisters League from 1984 to 1987, and served a month at a federal penitentiary for participating in a women's peaceful blockade of the Pentagon. She died on October 16, 2015 at the age of 88.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Sitting on the steps of the children's center, Lester anxiously waits for his new parents and their dog, Wincka, to take him home. They've waited a year for this moment, as "it always takes a long time to adopt someone." Even though Lester loves his new home and Daddy Albert and Daddy Rich, everyone has a lot to learn about one another and their new roles. Lester still fears someone might come to hurt him and so cannot unpack his action figures, which he keeps ever ready in a little blue suitcase. Hurt also comes in angry words as the new Daddy Albert realizes. After enduring many nights of interrupted sleep, tripping over action figures, and bumping into the blue suitcase, Daddy Albert explodes at Lester. His anger recedes quickly, and he is as upset as Lester, who shares his fear and loneliness. Wincka, a wise dog (who resembles another Raschka canine), quietly comes up with the solution; she simply moves into Lester's bed, which she will continue to share with the boy and his action figures. The evocative story is quietly told in accessible, sensitive language. Equally moving watercolors use fluid line and gentle colors to amplify the poignant family story and portray each distinctive character. The text, written by Williams, is a deeply personal one and the last book she would write before her death. VERDICT This tender and uplifting tale, probably best shared one-on-one, should find a home in every children's collection.-Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Lester loves living in his new home with Daddy Rich, Daddy Albert, and their funny old dog, Wincka. Keeping his suitcase packed with his "best action toys" makes Lester feel safe, but every night, he appears by Daddy Rich and Daddy Albert's bedside. It takes Lester weeks to voice his fears: "What if somebody comes and takes me away right in the middle of the night?" It's Wincka who finally solves the problem, and she does it so well that Daddy Albert says, "Maybe Wincka should have adopted Lester instead of us." Full of tender everyday moments, Raschka's sunny, loosely stroked paintings lull readers into Lester's new life. The family lives simply in a peaceful neighborhood, they share pancakes in bed on Sundays, and Williams and Raschka embrace the challenges of building a new family (Daddy Albert blows his stack in frustration, and Daddy Rich cries at the sight of one of Lester's tears), as well as the joys. Williams's gift was capturing candid moments of pure love, and this, her final story before her death in 2015, offers a string of them. Ages 4-8. Illustrator's agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

Foster child Lester finally has a real family in Daddy Albert, Daddy Rich, and their dog Wincka; the couple has at last and really and truly adopted Lester. Life should be good and it mostly is, but Lester is anxious sleeping alone, and more than anything he longed to wriggle right into the middle of that bed, with Daddy Rich on one side and Daddy Albert on the other side and fat old Wincka at his feet. The text takes its time in developing and solving this crisis, but the pleasures of familyhood -- Lester learning to ride a two-wheeler with Daddy Rich, for example -- dot the narrative and provide texture. Although the text has a tendency to spell things out (that way he knew he would be safe from everything bad in the whole world) and otherwise linger, a real portrait of the family emerges and doesnt shy away from difficult aspects: having had enough, tightly wound Daddy Albert yells at Lester to stay in his own bed. That the two dads have such distinct personalities (Daddy Rich is easygoing) is quietly noteworthy, as is the matter-of-fact intimacy of a boy in bed with his gay dads. In their watercolor pictures, Williams and Raschka engage this specificity and intimacy further, with cozy, limber shaping that recalls Margot Zemach and big, beautiful hands for the dads, ready to protect and comfort their son. Wincka, the dog who saves the, er, night, has personality to spare, her exuberance seeming to burst from the car when the dads first come to take Lester home. roger sutton (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

Lester has been waiting to go home with Daddy Rich and Daddy Albert, and at last, the adoption is final. But once in his new home, Lester finds it hard to let go of his little blue suitcase and the protective action figures that reside within. He wanders around at night, hoping his dads will let him sleep in their bed. Everyone in the family is stressed until Wincka, the family dog, solves the problem when he moves from Rich and Albert's bed to Lester's, bringing safety with him. This final book by the acclaimed Williams offers honest emotions, provides thoughts on both isolation and inclusion, and promotes the promise of family. The book could have been trimmed there is a lot of backstory to get to its perfect ending but the extra pages give Raschka, who worked right beside Williams, ample space to do his thing. The bright art, more realistic than in some of Raschka's other books, captures the complexities and joy of a new family and is as honest as Williams' words. One last gift from Williams.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2016 Booklist