Home at Last

Lester is so happy finally to be with a forever family: Daddy Albert, Daddy Rich and their snuffly dog Wincka with her velvety forehead. He and his adoptive parents put away his new clothes in his new bedroom, but Lester is not yet ready to store his beloved action figures in the toy cupboard: "They have to stay right here in case anyone comes to hurt me," he tells his dads. All is going well for the new family... except for Lester's late-night excursions to his dads' (and Wincka's) bedside. Night after night they wake to see the boy swooping his toys over them; night after night they lead him back to the room they so lovingly prepared for him. It isn't until everyone is thoroughly exhausted and cranky that the truth finally comes out: "There's all three of you in your bed in there, and in here is nobody. Just me. Just me. I'm scared." The new daddies are worried and sad, but luckily, Wincka knows just what to do, and soon Lester is sleeping every night in his own bed with his brand-new velvety, snuffly "pillow."

Every child, adopted or not, can relate to Home at Last, a beautiful collaboration between Caldecott Honor author-illustrator Vera B. Williams ("More, More, More," Said the Baby) and two-time Caldecott Medal winner Chris Raschka (Hello, Goodbye Window and A Ball for Daisy). An endnote by Raschka describes how he and Williams worked together during the last months of her long life: "Vera wrote it. Vera and I drew it. And I painted it." --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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