How the Sun Got to Coco’s House


The sun will rise tomorrow. It’s one of the few absolutes and completely reliable events in life. But that’s not to say it’s uninteresting or uninspiring. Quite the opposite, actually.

The sun is on a continuous journey that quite literally brings life to billions along the way. It’s an adventure worthy of the greatest epics . . . or the smallest details.

In How the Sun Got to Coco’s House, Bob Graham relates one day in this continuing adventure and focuses on some relatively minor — yet nonetheless poignant — effects that sunlight has on our delicate planet.

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It glints off a whale’s eye, creates shadows in a Siberian forest, and lands on closed window shutters in a Chinese city before heading across Central Asia, waking both animals and people, on its way to Coco’s house.

Traveling thousands of miles and greeting billions of people, the sunlight is all the while meant to wake Coco and bring light to a dreary winter day. It is meant to accompany her as she plays in the snow with her friends.

As it is meant to travel with each and every one of us, every day. The sun is one of the few things that touches everyone’s life, no matter where you live. And it’s something we all have in common.

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Graham’s illustrations bring a vibrancy to this relatively simple story, which still manages to relate a compelling message. Though the world can sometimes feel unfathomably huge, there is still a simplicity and rhythm to it that makes it feel relatable, if not small.

The story is told in simple prose — almost poetic in places — and is a joy to read aloud. It also incorporates cultural references without calling unnecessary attention to them. The sun travels around the whole world, not just one country, and Graham does his best to show this diversity (without making a big deal about it) in the few pages he has at his disposal.

Fantastic book; highly recommended.

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(Disclosure: Candlewick Press provided a review copy of this book. All opinions remain my own.)

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire,, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.