According to the jacket, Love and the Rocking Chair was the last collaboration of husband and wife team Leo and Diane Dillon. I am not exactly sure how that happened, as Leo Dillon passed in 2012, but I am sure it is true. After all, the signature style of both is plainly there.
While the story is simple and we have seen parts of it before, the illustrations are pure gold. They outdid themselves again! The story is a young couple who got married, soon needed a chair for the nursery and soon found the perfect one. A rocking chair. Not too long afterwards, the couple had their son; who would partake of the chair by being read to in it and by playing with it (it was a great race horse). He grew up, no longer needing the rocking chair, until many years later when it is dusted off for another special arrival. The part of the story we have seen before is the story of love of the family. The part that is not seen before is that this is the story of the Dillon’s. We see Diane and Leo married, the birth of the son and his growing up, we see Leo passing away, we see the son coming home with the girl he wishes to marry, we see the little granddaughter who gets to experience the love of the chair, too (being comforted in it by her grandmother as the grandfather watches from photographs and making that chair a grand sailing ship).
The illustrations are beautiful. They are soft and bright at the same time. They are sweet and bold. They pop and are comforting. They read as their own story and compliment the text perfectly. I always feel that they are somehow “blurry” but not in any negative way, they ae showing a contradiction of that softness and boldness of them.
I would think this would be an interesting baby shower gift (due to the grandfather’s passing) but also could be a sympathy gift (the fact life changes, but there is always the love and connection of a family). It is for fans of Leo and Diane Dillon and for fans of great art. It might even be an interesting hostess gift. Also, due to the fact the Dillon’s were a biracial couple in the 1950’s and 1960’s, this shows a nontraditionally shown family.