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The Relatives Came Paperback – July 31, 1993

4.8 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3 The title of Rylant's exuberant tale is an understatement, for when "those relatives" came, they came en masse and they came for an extended stay. Their anticipation at seeing kin during their long, long drive and finally hugging them "against their wrinkled Virginia clothes" set the tone for this welcome family reunion, a visit that never wears thin. The relatives are depicted as a support system to help a fatherless family with all the things that need to be done in and around their house. In down-to-earth language that harbors strong emotion, Rylant recounts the festive celebration of the relatives' stayand the ensuing sadness when they depart. The relatives in question are a large rural brood, depicted, in Gammell's joyous color pencil drawings, as running the gamut from porcine to scrawny, old to young and rowdy to silent. In pictures of this group hugging, eating and sleeping, the unspoken closeness of the unnamed relatives can be felt. These softly colored pictures, which capture the spirit of the brief text, are large enough for sharing in groupsa use of this warm book that seems particularly appropriate. David Gale, "School Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of more than 100 books for young people, including the beloved Henry and Mudge, Annie and Snowball, Brownie & Pearl, and Mr. Putter & Tabby series. Her novel Missing May received the Newbery Medal. She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Visit her at CynthiaRylant.com.

Stephen Gammell is the beloved illustrator of more than fifty books for children, including Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman, which received the Caldecott Medal, and two Caldecott Honor Books: The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker, and The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate Our School by Judy Sierra. Mr. Gammell lives with his wife, Linda, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 940L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin (July 31, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689717385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689717383
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME on March 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Do you remember being told as a child that some relatives (whom you didn't really recall) were coming to visit? If so, this book will evoke all of the trepidition and excitement of those days . . . not to mention the scattered inconveniences you experienced, that were quickly forgotten in oceans of warm acceptance.
The strength of the book is in its illustrations, which warmly capture emotional closeness, like being tucked into bed by your Mom after a wonderful but tiring day. For those illustrations, The Relatives Came won a Caldecott Honor Award in 1986 that is well deserved.
The images are very happy, soft and fuzzy all at the same time. The illustrations look as though they were produced with pastel pencils using very fine points, constantly sharpened. With rounded faces and bodies, everyone seems very open and comfortable in hospitable surroundings. I have rarely seen a book that sets a better illustrated tone for a friendly family gathering. It caused me to recall my favorite family reunions.
The story is not as strong as the illustrations, but is more than adequate. One part of the family lives in Virginia and is leaving before the grapes are ready to be picked. They get up at 4 a.m. and drive straight through in a food and luggage packed station wagon. They leave the same way, weeks later, after having spent a happy summer camping inside the relative's house they visit. The initial nervousness and homesickness give way to missing their relatives, based on the happy times they share together that summer. The solution? Do it again next summer!
The story is designed to pick up on the physical aspects of closeness, and use those to convey a connection to emotional closeness. For people who are kinesthetically oriented, this story will be gripping and realistic.
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Format: Library Binding
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Stephen Gammell is a lively children's book about a family and the relatives who came to visit them. It shows what type of things the family had to go through when the relatives showed up. There was hugging, eating, and breathing for many weeks, after which the relatives pack up and leave. They miss each other after they leave. The Relatives Came helps kids understand the importance of family. They realize that while the family may not be together; they are missed by the relatives. The font and illustration is both crazy and crooked. This helps show how packing for vacation is frantic. Gammell draws the pictures with vivid colors, and the pictures look as if they were drawn with color pencils. This helps keep the child attracted to the book because it is very eye-appealing.
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Format: Paperback
This book, "The Relatives Came" by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Stephen Gammell, was a delight to read. I found myself smiling as I read the words that made the artwork come alive. Likewise, I found myself recollecting over the memories of the past when my relatives would come to visit. And, I felt as if I, too, were a part of this book. Having experienced growing up in a small town where you don`t see that many people, I believe that when relatives come to visit, it almost seems like Christmas. As a result, when the book expressed the joy, laughter, and celebration of family, it stirred up these memories of the past. Unquestionably, almost anyone, from children to adults, could find themselves reminiscing and longing for the fun they had when their relatives come to visit.
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Format: Paperback
This book reminds me so much of my family gatherings...even though it's set in a different part of the country. I love it, and have sent it to my sisters and their families as well. It's a Caldecott award winning book, one that should be read by generations of families. Who wants to stay at the Marriott when you can sleep on the floors and sofas at your cousins house? Family....isn't it about time?
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Format: Paperback
This children's book is a joyous and hilarious visit by a very large family to relatives in another State. Although everything gets very hectic, when the relatives finally leave, everyone seems to miss the visitors right away and already are looking forward to the next visit. I think that every family can relate to this story. The book was illustrated by Stephen Gammell and it was a 1986 Caldecott Honor book (that is, a runner-up to the Medal winner) for best illustrations in a book for children.
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A Kid's Review on September 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for kids ages 3-9. It is a good book for young people because I think it teaches kids no matter what all ways love your family and they will love you back. I read this for English class and if I have a choice to read it again I would. It is about a family that comes from another state to visit their relatives, they get there hug for hours on end and eat dinner then go to bed. There's not enough beds for everyone so each person has a arm or leg on them but, they don't mind at all because there with family. I loved the book personally and I think kids would too. After the age 10 or so they might think the book is childish, any age 9 and under I think would love it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We got a smaller version of this book with a box of Cheerios. Not sure what happened to it, but I was very grateful to replace it through Amazon. This book is much larger than our first addition and the kids love it. Each time I've been with my grandson ... this is the book he always wants to read.

The Relatives Came is well written and beautifully illustrated children's book. I bought it to read to my grandchildren, and now they are reading it to me! We absolutely love looking at the pictures, over and over. We talk about each person, in the family, and then we decide who of our family is who in the book. The kids fall asleep each time with smiles on their faces. I will do everything in my power to keep this book safe, so that someday ... my darlings can read this book to their grandchildren as well. We just love this book ♥

We got a smaller version of this book with a box of Cheerios. Not sure what happened to it, but I was very grateful to replace it through Amazon. This book is much larger than our first addition and the kids love it. Each time I've been with my grandson ... this is the book he always wants to read.
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