Lloyd-Jones and Dyer introduce children to the concept of “self” in relation to “place.”
A little redheaded girl is gradually made aware of the expanding boundaries of her world, from the familiar and immediate environment of her house to the schoolyard and beyond, culminating with the world: “On the ground where you stand / In a place of Your Own / In the world / That’s Your Home.” Throughout this catalog of the mundane, the language ranges from lyrical (“And the sun rising up / Is the light of Your Eyes”) to pedestrian, even monotonous (“A cat is Your Cat / And a dog is Your Dog / And they are Your Pets”). Whenever something or someone associated with the child is named, the word “your” and the subsequent noun are capitalized: “Your Tree,” “Your Life” and “Your Grandpa.” This emphasis on the possessive pronoun is mystifying and feels overdone, unless the intent is to reassure an insecure child—which this chubby-cheeked preschooler does not appear to be. Dyer’s soft gouache and pencil illustrations are extensions of the soothing tone set by the author and are poetic in their own right, depicting an idealized Caucasian family in an appealing Craftsman-style rural home. They cannot, however, compensate for the needlessly drawn-out text, which is almost too long for the intended age group.
Visually beautiful but conceptually off the mark. (Picture book. 3-5)