Have you ever wondered what makes a house a home? As someone who has moved more times than I can count, including several moves when our kids were young, the desire to create a home is never far from my mind. Especially as we head into a season filled with family holidays, feeling at home wherever you live is so important. Which is why I knew I had to read and review today’s Perfect Picture Book which addresses just that question.
Title: Home is a Window
Written By: Stephanie Parsley Ledyard
Illustrated By: Chris Sasaki
Publisher/Date: Neal Porter Books, Holiday House/2019
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: home, family, community, moving, comfort
Home is a window, a doorway, a rug, a basket for your shoes.
Brief Synopsis: A young girl reflects on what’s special about her urban home, and when she moves, discovers special aspects of her new home.
Links to Resources:
- Describe with words or pictures what you like best about the house or apartment where you live;
- If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be? Why?
- Have you ever wanted to design features of your own home? Check out these kid-friendly DIY design ideas;
- Check out the Educator’s Guide for more ideas.
Why I Like this Book:
As the first lines of Home is a Window make clear, home can mean many things, as long as they contribute to feelings of comfort and safety. In the first section of this picture book, we see the many things that make this living space a home from the perspective of a young girl and her family. They include such universal pleasures as comfortable furniture, tasks done together, neighbor’s lights shining warmly into your bedroom, and a “table with something good and the people gathered there.” As the text makes clear, “Home is what feels the same each day”.
But what happens when you have to leave the comfort and safety of a familiar living arrangement and move someplace new? By bringing our traditions and the things we love with us, we can recreate home in a new place, as Home is a Window shows.
I love that Sasaki features the family coming together in the new house to share a meal. They might sit on a “patched-up quilt” on the floor and eat take-out food, but it’s clear that this family is well on their way to establishing a home in their new house.
With its low word count and earth-toned images of a loving mixed-raced family and their home, I think Home is a Window is a wonderful book to share with your littles, whether you’re contemplating a move, adapting to a new living situation, or wanting to share what makes your house or apartment a home.
A Note about Craft:
I love the imagery and symbolism of the title, that home is a window – a means to look in to see the lives lived within its walls, and to look out to view the family’s interactions with their old and new communities.
Note the use of background colors: they become increasingly darker as moving day looms, and then lighten as the family creates a home in their new house.
A House, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books/2021) would be a good book to pair with Home is a Window, especially with younger children.
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!