Home at Last.

Home at Last. illus. by Vera B. Williams & Chris Raschka. 40p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780061349737.
RedReviewStarGr 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.

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