One of the quietest, loveliest books that we read to the girls is out of print – Wake Up, Wilson Street by Abigail Thomas with illustrations (really paintings) by William Low.
A grandmother and her grandchild sit and look out the window in the early morning and watch Wilson Street awaken.
The sun comes up, the birds sit on a wire, the milk truck delivers, the grocer sets out boxes, neighbors do what neighbors do – well, everything slowly begins to come alive.
It is true that the people who are up early are privy to many things. They have the privilege of seeing everything new. In this lovely picture book, there is a conspiratorial tone between the grandmother and child, as if they are in on a secret – shhh, don’t spoil it by waking Mom and Dad.
The illustrations are beautiful – rich and evocative, and the rhythm of the story is gentle and warm. It is a great early morning book, but it is also a lovely good night read as the gentle tone is not disruptive or jarring. We have used the style of the book to look out the window at our own street and say good morning. The family in the book is warm and real, and the intergenerational connection allowed my own children to see that Grandma could be fun to hang out with.
If you ever see a copy of the lovely book in a used book store, I would recommend that you buy it – in case someday you have someone that you want to read to.