“Home where my thought’s escapin’
Home where my music’s playin’
Home where my love lies waitin’
Silently for me”
– Paul Simon (1966)
I still love that song. When it was released, I was a tween and my home was a recently-constructed split level in East Northport, Long Island. As the eldest child, my parents gave me the sole bedroom on the half-buried, lower level, next to the garage, where I could blast my Beatles albums on my little stereo to my heart’s content, and not disturb anyone.
I last lived in that house 48 years ago and, yet, it remains a significant piece of who I am.
“Home has corners,
home is round.
Home is tunneled underground.
Home is hard.
Home is soft.
Home is basement,
home is loft.
Home is meadow,
home is sea.
Home is mountain,
home is tree.
Home is city, home is town.
Home is hanging upside down.”
HOME IS… by Hannah Barnaby and Frann Preston-Gannon is a collection of colorful, eye-catching illustrations set to a poem, depicting the extraordinary diversity of homes inhabited by the world’s creatures and people. From the seal in the kelp forest, to the bunnies in their burrow, the snail in its shell, the starfish on a rock, or the kid in a treehouse, the lyrics and images depict the multitude of places that serve as homes.
As a child, I was not aware of people for whom home was a sidewalk. It feels like a far harsher world these days when I drive to Trader Joe’s or Costco and pass block-long lines of people sleeping on the street. Here in California, we have more than 150,000 homeless humans. That’s the equivalent of six East Northports.
But that conversation is more appropriate for older kids. Nevertheless, it is a reason to be knowledgeable of and sensitive to your preschool audiences before you read this book at circle time and then initiate a discussion about what the kids like or don’t like about their homes.
Whether bear or starling, mole or kitty, HOME IS… shows young children the incredible diversity of critters’ and peoples’ homes. I can imagine the rhythmic text being chanted or set to music.
Kids will love the boldly depicted assortment of living creatures. For me, this one’s a reminder of how fortunate I am, nestled in my comfy reading chair, in the old San-Fran Victorian that I now call home.
32 pages 978-1-5344-2176-9 Ages 3-7
Keywords: home, animals, belonging, rhyme, diversity, 3 year old, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA
What makes a home home? Find out in this intriguing exploration of the places creatures call home.
From mountain to sea, meadow to tree, small town to big city, people and animals make their homes all over the world. Some are forever while some change with the seasons, but all are just right for the creatures who live in them. With lyrical rhyming text perfect for reading aloud and evocative jewel-toned illustrations, here is a book that will have young readers thinking about home in a whole new way.---from the publisher