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A PLACE TO CALL HOME by Alexis Deacon

A PLACE TO CALL HOME

By Alexis Deacon (Author) , Viviane Schwarz (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: July 12th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5360-6
Publisher: Candlewick

Seven rodent brothers outgrow their hole and venture out into a junkyard in search of a new home in this vastly retooled take on "The Blind Men and the Elephant."

Comic-book panels, speech bubbles and rapid-fire dialogue heighten the humor that builds during the brothers’ tiny odyssey. Before setting out, the pear-shaped critters cover their cowardly heads with dish gloves, a tea cup, a boot, a paper towel roll, a lampshade and a faucet to recreate the reassuring darkness of their hole. Seeing little, they grossly misinterpret every juncture of their journey. A mud puddle could only be the vast ocean; a desk, a mountain; a pile of dirt, a desert; the edge of a rusted-out dryer must be the end of the world. Intermittently, one little guy blindly calls out, “Brother?”—a sweet touch and a dependable giggle. Hysteria builds and readers hustle to keep up with the jumpy dialogue between seven furry speakers and the often-cluttered illustrations, which somehow seem both static (all the head pieces appear in yellow, all the animals’ bodies look very similar) and also busy with incremental changes. When a dog snatches one of the brothers, effective double-page spreads bring great dramatic crescendos, laughs and a rest for readers’ eyes. Kids will cheer as the brothers use their heads (and head gear) to subdue the beast and finally muster the courage to find a home out of the junkyard, out in the open.

Fast-paced with wit and heart, this ridiculous rodent road-trip will appeal to future comic-book lovers—and anyone part of a tight band of brothers (or sisters). (Picture book. 4-8)