Canyon has outdone himself in his second pairing with a John Denver tune, this one about returning home to the place of his roots. A cast of wonderfully expressive characters journey day and night toward a reunion. Just as in real life, the family members are an interesting bunch, humorously reflected in the vehicles they are driving—a peace-sign-adorned Volkswagen van, a motorcycle, a station wagon towing a camper, a pickup truck, a camouflage-painted jeep and a fancy touring auto. The joyous reunion and its attendant feast and musical jam will have families itching to gather together. Canyon’s portrayal of the song’s West Virginia mountains and countryside as a quilt is inspired. Painting on textured paper and including every detail, right down to the stitches between the differently patterned “fabrics” making up the fields, mountains and trees, even hardcore quilters might be fooled into thinking this was the work of a needle and thread. (CD and score included) (Picture book. 4-8)
Gracefully written, keenly observed, Fruchter’s portrait limns the joys of friendship and of lives devoted to art.