Cover image for Come a tide
Come a tide
Lyon, George Ella, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Orchard Books, [1990]

A girl provides a lighthearted account of the spring floods at her rural home.
General Note:
"A Richard Jackson book"--
Reading Level:
490 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.5 0.5 9762.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.3 1 Quiz: 02405 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Seasonal
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



A girl provides a lighthearted account of the spring floods at her rural home.

Author Notes

George Ella Lyon was born on April 25, 1949, in Harlan, Kentucky. She is an author who has published in many genre, including picture books, poetry, juvenile novels and articles. Her books often take place in Appalachia. She earned her B.A. at Centre College in Kentucky in 1971, her M.A. at the University of Arkansas in 1972 and her PhD at Indiana University - Bloomington in 1978.

She first published in 1983, a poetry collection called Mountain. Aside from publishing, she also taught writing at a number of colleges, including the University of Kentucky, Centre College, Transylvania University, and Radford University. She has also acted as an executive committee member for the Women Writers Conference. She has also taught writing through workshops, conferences, and author visits.

Her titles include Father Time and the Day Boxes, Sonny's House of Spies, Holding on to Zoe, All the Water in the World, With a Hammer for My Heart, and Where I'm From: Where Poems Come From. In 2014 her title Voices from the March on Washington made the Hot Civil Rights Titles List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-7. "It'll come a tide," says Grandma after a four-day deluge. She's right: as the streams and creeks rush down the hill to the river, the water rises, sending residents of the hollows packing. The narrator's family hightails it up the hill to Grandma's house. The next day the evacuees check out the scene to find "water up to the piano keys," but their house intact. Now it's time, in Grandma's words, "to make friends with a shovel." The whole group of routed friends and relatives get to work cleaning up; "we'll be fine," says the narrator--at least until next spring. Gammel's exuberant color drawings celebrate the rainy chaos with abandon. The tattered scenes awash with people and possessions bring home the mass disruption of a flood, but always with an eye for the lighter side of things. Through story and art, Lyon and Gammell provide quite an experience. --Denise Wilms

Publisher's Weekly Review

Four days and nights of rain and snow in the mountains and, Grandma predicts, it'll ``come a tide.'' And indeed, fragile gardens are swept away, pigs and chickens float merrily by, and families scramble for higher ground. When the water recedes, everyone pitches in, excavating household goods--their ``buried treasures''--with good cheer. This is a gem of a picture book, a seamless collaboration between author and artist. Lyon's folksy narrative captures the cadence of country speech without striking a false or condescending note. And Gammell memorably renders the strength and individuality of mountain folk. Using drips and splotches of watercolors as well as drawing more traditional, slanting rain, he brings the reader into the storm, making it seem as though it has rained on the book itself. One feels buoyed by the characters' matter-of-fact resilience; this is a striking and thoroughly captivating portrait of grace and humor, in the face of adversity. Ages 4-7. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS Gr 2 --In the hills, in March, it snowed and then rained four days and nights. Grandma said, ``It'll come a tide.'' It did, washing away gardens, porches, pigs, and chickens. Four families on a hillside cope with the flood, driving to higher ground to wait it out, fetching their boat, and gathering stray family members. After the narrator's night at Grandma's, the rain stops and they all return to ``make friends with a shovel.'' The story is lyrically told with sly humor, and expanded to hilarity by Gammell's rollicking, wet, full-of-action, full-color cartoons. The characters could get together with those he did for Rylant's The Relatives Came (Bradbury, 1985). The underlying colored-pencil technique is in his typical style, but for rain he uses watercolor. His work is jolly as always and brimming with life, but there is one small nit to pick: the chickens and the pigs smile as the water sweeps them away. The jovial art may also tend somewhat to counter the final lines of the book: ``. . . I'll hold my breath/ and hope Grandma won't say,/ `Children, it'll come a tide.' '' That is quibbling, however. Children and adults alike will love this big-hearted book. Reassuringly, it shows feisty people coping with trouble and coming out all right, thus taking some of the fear out of a potentially terrifying experience. --Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.