How the Sun Got to Coco's House is the fifth book by Bob Graham that I have reviewed now, and each one is as magically universal as the next. A picture book by Graham can go all the way around the world and never leave a single room. And, perhaps because of the nature of the stories he tells, Graham can tell the same story over and over, making it new and enchanting every single time.
With How the Sun Got to Coco's House, the sun is the main character. Graham begins, "It had to start somewhere. While Coco slept far away, the sun crept up slowly behind a hill, paused for a moment, and seemed to think twice . . ." The sun skids giddily, touching a fisherman's cap and, "with the help of the wind . . . blew it off!" The sun tumbles, makes shadows, balances on the wing of a plane, "just for young Lovejoy, off to visit his grandma."
The sun shines on Jung Su and her mother, trekking through the woods before it catches Kosha and his father on the way to the market. High over the desert, the sun meets rain and Graham's accompanying illustration is a wonderful, two page spread showing a family of four leading their camels in a line. The sun breaks over a mountain as Alika's toe breaks the ice on her puddle and the illustration shows a family of women and girls in head coverings walking down a narrow alley.
When the sun does make it to Coco's, it comes straight through the window, follows her down the hall and makes itself "quite at home on her mom and dad's bed," just like Coco! Graham ends How the Sun Got to Coco's with the sun, who has some time on its hands, spends the whole day with Coco. The final illustration is a bird's eye view of Coco and her friends playing in the backyard, showing rows of row houses and factories and busy streets.
This review ends with the perfect final line I have to repeat here, "It's great to be able to count on something, readers can count on both the sun and Graham." So true!
More books by Bob Graham