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Homes: My First Discoveries    by Gallimard Jeunesse, Claudee Delafosse & Donald Grant order for
by Gallimard Jeunesse
Order:  USA  Can
Moonlight, 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Here's a clever book about different types of housing found around the world. The spiral ring binding allows the pages to lay flat so it is easy to read. Interspersed with the thick board pages are a number of transparent pages that allow the reader to peer inside buildings.

For example, you'll see the outside of an apartment building and then flip the transparency over and there's what the inside units look like. Another set shows a set of home blueprints. Flip it over and there's the outside of the finished home.

The text is appropriate for children five years of age and older. There's not a lot of detail but the authors do address the basics of construction materials, and how man has moved from prehistoric caves and huts to the sophisticated buildings of today.

I particularly liked how various cultures and their traditional dwellings were stressed. The reader is shown how an igloo and teepee are constructed; plus there are small illustrations of homes from places like Niger, Mali, Cameroon, Mongolia, the Sahara Desert and Indonesia.

Other housing options briefly featured include campers on the back of trucks, mobile homes, tents, and various types of boats, from a junk and canal barge to the space station.

Finally, the book ends with a few suggestions on homes the reader can make. These include a pillow cave and draping a blanket over a table to make a tree house, or transforming a large cardboard box into a one room house.

Nicely designed with detailed illustrations, this is a good way of showing a child that everyone, around the world, lives in the same type of house.

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