Home Is… by Hannah Barnaby, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon. Beach Lane, Simon & Schuster, 2021. 9781534421769
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? Simple, rhyming text and beautiful illustrations anchor this exploration of home. Focusing on opposites, the book opens with “Home is land, home is sky. Home is wet, home is dry.” The accompanying illustrations show a bear on land, birds in the sky, a beaver sitting on its lodge while a fish swims in a pond. The mixed media images in brilliant hues (a mix of digital and hand-drawn) sometimes spread across two pages and other times feature vertically- or horizontally-oriented vignettes. The images are charmingly representational, almost like folkart, and show people with a variety of skin colors, some living in single-family homes, others in apartment buildings, even a little girl in a treehouse! The animals are all darling and cuddly, with bright eyes and tactile fur, feathers, and shells. I loved the rhyme scheme, which was effortless and simple, but never cloying.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a nice read aloud with lots of opportunities for listeners to chime in with the rhyming word or could be a sweet bedtime story. Although more basic, it reminded me of A House Is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman.
Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA
Date of review: October 10, 2021