Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and ninety-four

Not long ago I lived in a lovely little house here in Ashland. We were renting the house until we could find a place of our own, and we were there for more than a year. Though the house was charming and very homey, it did not come to feel like home because we knew that we would not be staying there, and because one of our number, my husband, was gone so much of the time for work. Without him around something was missing. 

In today's picture book readers will meet four animals who learn what a home really is.

Alex T. Smith
Picture book
For ages 5 to 7
Tiger Tales, 2010, 978-1-58925-088-8
   There once were four friends (One, Two, Three, and Four) who lived in a house together. The house was their home, and they were very happy with the way things were. Then one day One suggested that they should all go and live on a ship and become pirates. No one else liked this idea at all. Two thought that it would be grand to “live at the top of a mountain and learn to yodel.” No one likes this idea either. Three wanted to move into an underground cave, while Four wanted to move to a big city so that they could “go to parties and boogie-woogie all night long.”
   The four friends talked, argued, and then fought about what they wanted to do. Then each of them marched off taking a part of the house with them. At first, the “not-at-all-best friends” were happy with their new lives, but soon they realized that their houses were not homes. Something was missing.
   In this funny and sweet picture book, the author explores the idea that a home is a lot more than four walls, a roof, windows, doors, floors, and furniture. A house has to mean something special to the person or people who live in it before it feels like a real home.
   With unique multimedia illustrations throughout and delightfully quirky characters, this is a picture book that children will appreciate and enjoy.

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