A moving, funny, elegant meditation on love, childhood, and one's place in a family.
Gilbert spends a sunny summer afternoon obediently keeping watch over his napping grandpa to shoo the pesky flies away. Unsure of exactly how long he's really supposed to sit there, watching for non-existent bugs, he passes time contemplating his ever-changing family: His grandma Sarah recently died, a new baby is on the way, his siblings and cousins race in and out. While the temptations to abandon his post beckon, Gilbert's loyalty to his grandpa stays true, and his quiet dedication finds a sweet reward.
Naomi Danis drew on her own childhood memories in this her sixth book for young readers, following her New York Times-praised I Hate Everyone—also illustrated by Cinta Arribas—and While Grandpa Naps. She tries in her stories to notice and give voice to emotions that are universal but not always spoken, to help children feel seen, and to allow them to appreciate their own relationships in both their sheltering companionship and their complications. She hopes her books demonstrate love, even when they don't always use that word. She lives in Forest Hills, New York, and feels lucky to be writing in what she considers to be a new golden age of picture books.