Where the Heart Is:
7 Books About Home for Kids
by Liz Lesnick
Is there any place more important in our lives than our home? For young children, their home is their world, but as they venture out into the wider world, they’ll discover that not everyone’s home is alike. These picture books show kids all different kinds of houses, both real and imagined, and the love that makes them feel like home. I hope they will help young readers appreciate the world inside and outside their homes.
From an apartment to a wigwam to a hollow tree, Carson Ellis explores the infinite possibilities of home. Her exquisite, detailed illustrations and simple, poetic language captured my imagination and made me wish that this book had been around when my daughter was little. (Bonus points for rockin’ parents: Ellis designed all of the covers for The Decemberists’ albums — her husband’s band.)
A House Is a House for Me
By starting with homes for the smallest of creatures, then expanding to the larger world, children will see an extraordinary range of houses in this read. As Hoberman’s clever rhymes build, Fraser’s illustrations become more and more elaborate and detailed. Young readers (and their grown-ups) will return to the pages again and again to search for the hidden delights in the pictures and to hear Hoberman’s witty words.
The House That’s Your HomeAvailable from:
Perhaps if I had The House That’s Your Home when my daughter was starting preschool, her separation would have gone more smoothly. Beginning with a tour of all the things that make “your house your home,” Sally Lloyd-Jones moves into the wider world all the while reassuring children that at the end of the day, they come back to the house that is their home.Available from:
My House/Mi Casa
My House/Mi Casa is an excellent bilingual introduction to the elements that make up a home. Each page has a sentence in English and Spanish that’s accompanied by a bright illustration labeled in both languages. I bought this with the intention of giving it as a present, but my tween co-opted it to study for a Spanish quiz — the ultimate endorsement!
This Is Our House
Once upon a time, many children grew up in the same house as one of their grandparents. Hyewon Yum shares the story of her grandparents who “arrived from far away with just two suitcases” and settled in the house that would become her mother’s home and, years later, her home too.
Sometimes there’s nothing like a well-written children’s book to broach a difficult subject. I can’t think of a better way to help a young child adjust to having more than one place to live than to read Two Homes. Clear, matter-of-fact language and sweet watercolor illustrations show all the good things about having two homes (two favorite chairs, two sets of toys) and, more importantly, reassure young readers that each parent always loves them no matter where they live.
Welcome Home, Bear: A Book of Animal Habitats
Poor bear. He is tired of waking up in the same place every day so he decides to visit his animal friends to find a new place to live. He discovers that it’s hard to climb up to a nest when you’re a bear, and if you live underground like a mole, your nose fills up with dirt! Exhausted from his travels, bear returns to the forest, “just where he wanted to be.” Animal-crazy kids will delight in this entertaining tale of finding the place that fits you just right — and learn something about animal habitats to boot.
What other books capture the feeling of home? Share with us in the comments below.