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The Picture Book Buzz

Together With You - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

First thing first, the winner of The Fire of Stars: The Life And Brilliance of The Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of is:

Danielle Hammelef

Congratulations Danielle!

Now back to this week's #PPBF choice. I have such fond memories of time with my grandparents - taking walks, searching for shells and rocks on the beach, woodworking crafts, and painting. This adorably sweet book brought back a bunch of those memories. It is a wonderful celebration of special time spent with loved ones throughout the year and finding joy together.

Together With You

Author: Patricia Toht

Illustrator: Jarvis

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2023)

Ages: 4-8



Grandparents, seasons, intergenerational, time together, and rhyming.


From the team that brought us Pick a Pine Tree and Pick a Pumpkin, a big-hearted story about the love between grandparent and grandchild takes us through the seasons.

For one grandmother and grandchild, keeping dry in spring showers is easy when dashing through the drops side by side. In summer they stay cool with a squirt of the hose, then savor frozen treats in the shade. In autumn, snug in sweaters, they fly a kite while leaning into each other against the wind. And winter finds them nestling under blankets, sipping cocoa and watching the snow quietly fall. Narrated as a kind of love letter from a young child to a grandparent, this picture book pairs Patricia Toht’s safe, tender text with gentle art from Jarvis that meets it at every turn. An ideal gift from grandparent to grandchild (or the other way around), this charming story makes it clear that “no matter the weather, whatever we do, every day’s better together with you.”

Opening Lines:


I fasten the snaps of my yellow raincoat.

You slip on your green mackintosh.

My feet will stay dry in the polka-dot boots.

You tug on each rubber galosh.

What I LOVED about this book:

From the beginning of the two title pages, we are treated to gorgeous illustrations of a tender, intergenerational relationship of a young boy and his grandmother; as they explore the seasons and revel in time together.

Text © Patricia Toht, 2023. Image © Jarvis, 2023.

With a gentle rhyming text and soft easy rhythm, Patricia Toht uses double quatrains to take the grandmother and grandson through each season. Playfully exploring the spring rains, summer treats, fall winds, and winter snuggles. They slip and tug on galoshes, cool off with chilly ice pops, "pull on a sweater. . . huddle a hat," and "cuddle up close." She sets up a wonderful rhyme scheme in the second quatrain. The third line always begins with "We both can..." and the fourth line ends with a three word phrase. Setting the reader up for her perfectly touching and poignant ending.

Text © Patricia Toht, 2023. Image © Jarvis, 2023.

A fence post will help me to steady myself.

You lean in the wind as you stand . . .

Text © Patricia Toht, 2023. Image © Jarvis, 2023.

We both can go walking when autumn winds howl

if we charge down the street, hand in hand.

I love the way Jarvis divided all of these second quatrains into two spreads and captured the love and wonder of their relationship in these images as they spend precious time together through the year. He does a great job of capturing the changing light and the shifts in nature, animals, and clothing as these two traverse the seasons. His inclusion of a treasured stuffed bunny and frisky black cat will give kids something to hunt for throughout the book. The textures and looseness of the lines creates a warm and comfy feeling throughout the illustrations; especially when they're snuggled together on a winter night.

I adore the final three spreads as Patricia and Jarvis hone in on the relationship between the boy and his grandmother and what it means to both of them. This is a wonderful book for bedtime, Grandparent's Day (which is every day, right?), exploring the seasons, or poetry. Basically, it's another must-have treasure from this talented duo.


- explore the four seasons with one of these crafts.

- draw or describe things you like to do with your grandparent(s) or a special friend. Can you think of one for each season?

- pair this with Baking Day at Grandma's by Anika Denise, illustrated by Christopher Denise and Tomatoes for Neela by Padma Lakshmi, illustrated by Juana Martinez Neal.

If you missed the interview with Patricia Toht and Jarvis on Monday, find it (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions and resources see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.


Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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