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Finding home

Three new picture books consider the meaning of home: an around-the-world house tour, a fantastic underwater exploration of coral reefs, and an intergalactic search for a safe haven.

If You Lived Here: Houses of the WorldKids will love choosing a favorite new home from Giles Laroche’s If You Lived Here: Houses of the World. Do you want to live in a log house? A chalet? A house on stilts? Invitingly detailed cut-paper collages show fifteen different kinds of dwellings with information on how each is constructed and where each is located. I want to move to the “floating house” in the Netherlands. (4–8 years)

Coral ReefsAnimals need homes too, and coral reefs supply shelter to thousands. As in his Redwoods, Jason Chin’s Coral Reefs combines a fantasy journey with real science facts to immerse readers in a natural ecoscape, this time “the cities of the sea.” Pictures of a girl reader swimming amidst all manner of tropical fauna extend the informative text. (4–8 years)

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad RobotAnd when the world is too much with us, head for outer space, along with The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by Mark Fearing. When their mother sends them out into the universe, Bork, Gork, and Nklxwcyz each choose a different planet — and only sensible (albeit three-eyed) Nklxwcyz remembers Mama’s warnings about the Big Bad Robot. This “Three Little Pigs” takeoff pops with dialogue as it zooms about the solar system. (3–6 years)

—Roger Sutton

From Notes from the Horn Book, October 2011

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Margaret McNamara says:

    Thanks for the kind words about my book, Roger. Hope some folks will do some getting and spending on this title. — Peg McNamara

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