Home by Jeannie Baker

Summary: K-Gr. 3. This wordless picture book with exquisitely detailed collage illustrations speaks eloquently about urban conservation. Every double-page spread is a view through the same window, a view that changes over a generation, beginning with a couple expecting a baby and continuing as the baby grows up, is courted, and is married in the neighborhood street. At first the sprawl and smog nearly smother the view, but gradually the place changes. The community brings back a variety of local plants, and by the time the young woman's own baby is born, trees block the billboards, there are birds on the roof and in the sky, and cyclists and a bus can be seen on the roadway. Suddenly, there's a glimpse of the river in the distance, a dragonfly on the windowsill, and the full moon shines at night. Unlike some collage art, the technique here never gets in the way. The details show and tell a story about the small things in one neighborhood--their fragility, strength, and connection--and their power to make a difference. With each look at the pictures, there's more to see in the crowded neighborhood that is transformed into a wild and beautiful place. Hazel Rochman Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Classroom Implications
: This is a great companion piece with Baker's other book, Window. It takes the opposite look at development and the environment. It starts with an urban decay of a scene. With time, care, and community effort, the city-scape transforms into something beautiful. It would also be a picture book to support Paul Fleishman's book Seedfolks, which is based on social action, community and gardening.


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