Where's Sgt. Mom? Coming Home by Greg Ruth
WELCOME HOME, TROOPS
A boy and his big dog wait as well. The boy's face is serious as he watches the big plane land, roll to the gate, and its passengers disembark. He keeps looking for someone he doesn't yet see.
The crowd pushes forward, preschoolers waving flags. Around the boy,who holds his dog's leash tensely to his chest, people find each other. Couples embrace, fathers hoist little children to hug and put up high on their shoulders. A soldier looks with wonder at his very pregnant wife and a girl tries on her dad's fatigue cap with a big smile. Cameras click, parents brush away tears as they embrace their soldier children.
But the boy keeps looking. Families start to move away, but he pushes through the figures, looking for just one soldier. Then both he and his dog see someone.
"MOM!"It's a happy homecoming in Greg Ruth's beautifully illustrated Coming Home (Feiwel and Friends, 2014). In this almost wordless book, Ruth's lovely realistic paintings tells the whole story. The artist uses a variety of palettes and perspectives, from the view of the distant approaching transport plane to the up-close illustrations showing just arms and shoulders as the boy pushes through straining for a view of the one he wants to find. This is a timely story, but one as old as humankind, that reveals so much about a soldier's coming home. "A stirring tribute to the resilience of both soldiers and those they must leave at home," says Publishers Weekly in their starred review.