Review of Home Is a Window

Home Is a Window
by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard; illus. by Chris Sasaki
Preschool, Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.
4/19    978-0-8234-4156-3    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4156-3    $18.99

Ledyard offers a meditation of sorts on the sense of comfort and belonging that home should evoke, whether it’s a place we know well or a new home to which we’ve just moved. Throughout, the text eschews a strict rhyme scheme, but it satisfyingly delivers internal rhythms and rhymes, alliteration, and assonance at unexpected but just-right places. For example: “Home is a window, / a doorway, / a rug, / a basket for your shoes. / Home is / Hello, sweet pea, / and a hug, / a little bit of green, / a corner, and a chair.” With a style that recalls the work of Jon Klassen and Christian Robinson (while still his own), Sasaki offers a rich interpretation of Ledyard’s spare, poetic text. Her words lend themselves to the moving-day scenario that Sasaki depicts — an interracial family is moving from an apartment in the city to a big house in the country — but they don’t explicitly direct the narrative. Sasaki segues from the old home to the new with two double-page spreads that show the cozy city home at night, then a stark scene of the same room all packed up in daylight. At book’s end, the family is in the new house, sharing a blanket picnic on the floor together as the text conveys the affirming message that home is “the people gathered near.”

From the March/April 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Megan Dowd Lambert
Megan Dowd Lambert

Megan Dowd Lambert is an instructor at Simmons University’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. For nearly ten years she also worked in the education department of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

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