Old Jeremiah had successfully supported his wife, Juliana, and raised their children on his farm. Yet, for all his knowledge, he was acutely aware that he could not read.
At first it seems that Jeremiah’s reasons for learning to read are practical, but as the story unfolds we see him pursue a value more profound than simple facts; he discovers verse. As he learns, he shares his own knowledge with the school children who help him.
The gentle illustrations by Fernandez and Jacobson really capture Jeremiah’s character, his relationship with the school children, and with his wife, Juliana. Remarkably, the eyes of characters are drawn to emphasize the interest and focus of the characters. They show us the faces of purposeful and interested minds.
When Juliana asks, “When are you going to read to me?” he has already realized that what he will read to her will be no ordinary prose. He wants her to experience not merely what words can say, but something he can now convey, as he never could before.