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Home (Horn Book Fanfare List (Awards)) Hardcover – March 16, 2004

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
  • Series: Horn Book Fanfare List (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (March 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0066239354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0066239354
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 7.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4--When baby Tracy is first brought to her new home, the view of the urban neighborhood as seen through her window is not a pleasant one. Billboards and graffiti are everywhere, garbage is strewn across the streets, and only a few meager plants are fighting their way through the cracks in the cement. Bit by bit, as Tracy grows, the area is slowly reclaimed, so that the final view through the window is clean, lush, and green, with birds nesting peacefully in new trees and vistas that reveal glimpses of the now-visible blue river. In each of the double-page views through the window, readers can note not just the physical changes, but also the people in the community actively engaged in affecting those changes and producing a true home. As she did in Window (Greenwillow, 1991), Baker uses natural materials to create detailed, arresting collages that tell a story in which words are superfluous. Children can pore over these pages again and again and make fresh discoveries with each perusal. Whether enjoyed independently or incorporated into units on the environment, communities, or artistic technique, this is a book to treasure.--Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* 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

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
She really appreciated the book.
This is a superb book that with appeal to many different age groups, each of which will experience it in a different way.
M. Allen Greenbaum
The story in this book is told entirely through complex collaged images.
E. R. Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Without question, the most beautiful picture book of 2004. No other contenders come half so close. Author/illustrator Jeannie Baker has somehow managed to create a deeply moral book without placing even a sentence of dialogue or text into her tale. "Home" is a simple story that follows the circular nature of life and regeneration by paralleling the growth of a single young girl with the restoration of an urban neighborhood. What follows is a gorgeous story about what we owe the places where we live, and how best to interact with our environments. All that and it's still a fun book for Kindergartners to flip through repeatedly.

Almost every page of this book is the exact same shot again and again and again. We are initially looking out of a house's window onto a grimy city street. In the first picture, a mother and a father cuddle their new baby daughter within their enclosed yard. The scene is gritty but, because of the couple and their daughter, touching as well. The next two page spread takes place two years later. It's clear that the couple have recently put down new sod, though the neighborhood still hasn't changed much around them. Next door, an old man works on his garden. With every turn of the page, another 2 years passes. Right before our eyes we watch the girl, whether she's in the yard working on her bike or in the house waving to some approaching friends. She's getting older and more mature. Soon it becomes clear that there's a concentrated "Reclaim your street" effort on the part of the other people in the neighborhood. A dingy old lot across the way starts getting painted and given new green trees. The street itself looks nicer and before you know it a megamall has been torn down, giving the house a beautiful view of a nearby lake.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Jeannie Baker's "Home" is a model for a book without text: The pictures are compelling, the story flows easily, and there's enough intrinsic narrative to stimulate discussion. Although much of the material is relevant to social and economic issues, the gorgeous collages and everyday scenes will appeal to infants and toddlers, as well as older siblings and adults. Publisher Greenwillow displays its usual excellent production values.

Baker shows the progression of a rundown neighborhood to the small city equivalent of a town square, as well as the maturation of the female protagonist ("Tracy") from newborn to mother. Baker cleverly shows this--"Rear Window"-like-through Tracy's upper floor apartment window. From this perspective, we view the changing interior (a window ledge and some of the wall), the adjoining backyards, and the stores and dwellings at the intersection. When Tracy is born, the backyards and large apartment building are run-down, and graffiti ("DAMAGE," "PAIN ") reveals residents' frustration and anger. You get the feeling that the people, too, are neglected objects.

As the young girl grows, she and her environment begin to change. It starts small: The girl plants some flowers, a wall is fixed, and eventually someone puts up a sign: "Reclaim Your Street." Gradually, more and more people enact the spirit of that sign as they rebuild their houses and yards. Residents make a small common area in a former driveway/vacant lot, and newer buildings replace old ones.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Fox on January 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Wow, wow, wow! Another reviewer said this was the best picture book of 2004 and I'm inclined to agree: it's simply a fabulous book, beautifully produced and rich in meaning (even without text!) The book takes us through a neighborhood in transition, from a slum to a service area to a vibrant, tree-filled paradise. Through it all, the story of a young girl growing up weaves it together and provides a timeline that is easy for small children to comprehend. It's a simple story but eloquently presented to viewers through the incredible collages of paper, fabric, and pressed plant materials that are rich in detail and meticulously arranged. The author closes the book with a beautiful passage, "People are discovering the need to nurture and to be nurtured by the unique character of the places where they live. It takes time, as this book shows. But the choice is ours to make - having simply a place to live or, by understanding the land and caring for it, belonging to a living home." While this book would be read and read again by young children, it would also be a useful addition to art curriculum for older youth.
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Format: Hardcover
Jeannie Baker is no novice to this kind of subtle-changes-on-each-page book. However, her book "Window" --quite similar in approach-- left me feeling quite down and thwarted by urban overdevelopment and the loss of rural life. Quite opposite, "Home" bolsters one's spirits by depicting an area of urban decay turning gradually, over the period of some 20+ years, into a lovely urban oasis, complete with many trees, flowers, and shrubs and the reappearance of birds and animals. What's even better - it shows a family growing and thriving in the same environment and taking an active role in the neighborhood's change.

My four year old has asked for this book every day since we checked it out of the library, and I love it, too. A book that can appeal to multiple generations is a hands-down winner in my eyes.
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