Patricia Hegarty: Home

Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup

Published by Little Tiger Kids, Great Britain, 2020

All of us need a place to rest –

A cave, a warren, a pond, a nest…

Wherever we may choose to roam,

We need a place to call our home.”

Writing about this picture book today is especially meaningful. A few suburbs away my daughter and her partner are busily packing up boxes and heaving them into a moving truck which will take all their belongings and hopes for the future to a new home. It will be their own home, after years of renting and the excitement of this new phase in their lives, along with the responsibility of the mortgage, is palpable.

They say that “home is where the heart is” and for myself I feel that this is true. The walls, the roof, the people who inhabit the space, the atmosphere, the belongings, the events, the memorabilia, the warmth, and cosiness…all combine to give us an emotive connection to the space we live in. Whether we are animals or humans, these shelters enable us to thrive, create, and rest.

In this picture book, we meet a family of bears waking up from their winter den hibernation and venturing out into a world that is showing the first signs of spring. Almost all the pages have cut-outs, so you can peek through trees and branches to catch a glimpse of owls, squirrels, and beavers as they go about the business of making their homes. Rabbits in warrens, birds in nests, wolves in dens – this is a wonderful introduction to animals and their homes. Teckentrup’s illustrations vividly bring to life the creativity and wonder of home-making, the place that keeps us safe.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 2-4 years and below are more suggestions for books which explore the idea of home, whether you are animal or human:

Home by Jeannie Baker

Let’s Go Home by Cynthia Rylant Illustrated by
Wendy Anderson Halperin

A House in the Woods
by Inga Moore

Mouse House by John Burningham

Minerva Louise
by Janet Morgan Stoeke

Two Homes by Claire Masurel Illustrated by
Kady MacDonald Denton

Home by Carson Ellis

The Colour of Home
by Mary Hoffman
Illustrated by Karin Littlewood

Nest by Jorey Hurley

If You Lived Here by Giles Laroche

This Is Our House by Hyewon Yum

Welcome Home, Bear by Il Sung Na

No Place Like Home
by Ronojoy Ghosh

The Blue House by Phoebe Wahl

Red House, Blue House,
Green House by Jane Godwin Illustrated by Jane Reiseger

A House for Hermit Crab
by Eric Carle

This is Our House
by Michael Rosen
Illustrated by Bob Graham

My Very First Book of Animal Homes by Eric Carle

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