I haven’t been able to get out much lately, but I was lucky enough to have two great new books land on my doorstep last week, courtesy of the contest that moyer-girl held to launch her new website. (Still can’t believe I won. Thanks for hosting the contest, Joyce!)

The first book, Drive, is by Joyce’s ace web designer, Nathan Clement, who is also a terrific writer-illustrator. Drive is a picture book, the story of a dad’s day at work driving trucks. The simple, clear text is a real celebration of working life, and the illustrations have a heroic 1930s feel to them. Plus there’s a lovely homecoming scene at the end. What more could you ask? (Whenever we finish reading it, Sweetpea says, “Again.”)

The other great book is by Joyce herself: Healing Water. It’s the story of Pia, a boy who is sent to Hawai’i’s leprosy settlement in the 1860s. It’s gripping stuff, full of adventure and conflict and eye-catching details of a time and place far removed from our own. But what moved me most deeply was how well Joyce conveys something that is timeless: the fear and desolation of grave illness, and the loving-kindness that brings comfort when we least expect it.