Sunday, July 29, 2012

Georgia Music

This book is sweet and a little bit sad.  It made for nice late afternoon reading yesterday.

Helen V. Griffith
illustrated by James Stevenson 1986

I'm always drawn to James Stevenson's pictures though they're not particularly the style of illustration that I like. I think I must have had some books as a child with his illustrations, so when I see them they stir something familiar.

This story is about a little girl who stays with her grandfather in his cabin in Georgia one summer. They garden and make music and enjoy the sounds of a Southern country life. When the grandfather gets ill and has to move to Baltimore he becomes depressed and misses his old life in Georgia. But his granddaughter finds a way to make their old music, Georgia music, and lift both their spirits.

After a few days she had to get back to Baltimore, but she left the girl there with her grandfather for the whole long summer.  The old man never said how he felt about that, but he didn't seem to mind.  The girl didn't mind either.   She liked it right away.  She liked the hot garden patch with its green rows of seedlings, and she liked the little cabin that shook when the trains thundered by.  When she stopped being shy of her grandfather she liked him, too.

They would work all morning, their hoes going chink, chink up and down the rows, while a mockingbird flew from fence post to fence post flapping his wings and singing noisy songs at them.
"Sassy old bird," the man would say, and the girl would say it, too, "Sassy old bird," and they would look at each other and laugh out loud.

There was nothing wrong with their home in Baltimore, but the old man wasn't happy there.  He sat in a chair looking worried and sad, and the girl knew he was thinking of the old cabin and the garden that didn't get planted that year.


  1. I utterly adore this story...heard it told by a wonderful storyteller named Carrie...thanks for the post.

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