A multiracial family leaves the comfort and warmth of their old home to establish a new one.
Ledyard’s story begins in the familiar environs of a family’s well-loved and -lived-in home. In gentle, rhythmic prose, Ledyard describes home in myriad ways, from the concrete—“Home is a window, a doorway, a rug, a basket for your shoes”—to the visceral—“Home is Hello, sweet pea, and a hug, a little bit of green” (the last in the form of house plants). Home is not just a house. Home is a place where the family gathers at the table, where mother and daughter wash, rinse, and dry, and where there is always someone to help sweep up a mess. Home is “what feels the same each day”—and also “sometimes what is new.” Houses may change, but home goes with you in the form of “an arm around you tight” and “all that you miss.” Eventually everything will fall into a place, with “a window, sunlight, a corner for your toys.” Sasaki’s rough-hewn illustrations in pencil and marker are cleverly backgrounded with white (to provide focus) and dark space (to evoke melancholy). And his earth-toned, muted palette pairs beautifully with Ledyard’s spare text and the story’s slow, languid pace. The mother presents white, the father presents black, and the two children—a boy and a girl—have brown skin.
This sweet, emotionally perceptive book will help make any transition from old to new less scary. (Picture book. 4-8)