We Wait For the Sun (Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe)

Hello, friends! Our book today is We Wait For the Sun, written by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe, illustrated by Raissa Figueroa, an uplifting true story of hope in the darkness.

Based on Roundtree’s childhood, our story opens on young Dovey and her grandmother, Rachel, venturing out into the darkness of early morning in the woods of North Carolina. For a moment, it is so quiet and still that Dovey imagines they are the only two beings on earth awake, but soon other neighborhood women join their march into the predawn hours. Grandma teaches Dovey to navigate in the darkness; not to fear it, but to look for the light that will guide her out. They follow the birds to their destination: blackberries, so many that Dovey will be eating them dawn to dusk. Her grandmother offers her a taste of the morning’s first berry, and she savors it as the ladies get to work. Soon, Grandma stops Dovey and directs her eyes to the horizon, where the pair share a glorious sunrise before returning home.

Magical. Evoking the mystery and wonder of predawn twilight, this simple story of a bonding ritual between grandmother and granddaughter becomes a fairy tale. Figueroa’s gorgeous use of inky indigos and violets during the night scenes, interspersed with the soft glow in shafts of moonlight and dancing fireflies, create an otherworldliness that is a feast for the eyes. Reading McCabe’s afterward and profile of Roundtree and Rachel Graham gives valuable context to the impact of the story’s events on Roundtree’s life, yet even without, it serves as a poignant tale of resilience and hope in the face of uncertainty. The length is just right for a storytime, and JJ adored the illustrations and soothing, affectionate tone. A beautiful real-life family fable, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)