No Place Like Home
Random House Australia, 2016
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
George the polar bear is very grumpy. He never smiles and never talks to anyone. Not even when fun things like when a butterfly lands on your nose or a kid with a big balloon comes by. He didn’t even like ice cream. He didn’t like his home and he didn’t like the city. For George is lost. This is not home for him. But where is home? Is it the jungle? Is it a mountain? The desert, perhaps? The sea? Will George ever find where he completely fits in.
This is a charming story that little ones will love to hear and tell you what they know about polar bears and where they live. But it will also help them think about our own personal preferences – that some of us like crowds and others, solitude. That some like the beach and some like the mountains – and it is all about how well we fit together so our differences unite rather than divide us. It’s an opportunity to explore how being out of sync with our world, even temporarily, can affect our emotions and our relationships with others and that perhaps when people seem out of sorts with us we can be empathetic rather than judgemental..
Illustrated by the author, an art director in ‘real life’, the pictures have a touch of quirkiness that will make the children laugh out loud, particularly the last one. They are the central part of the story and encourage the listener to join in to tell you exactly why that particular place is not home for George, thus having an active role in telling the story which is so critical to the development of early literacy skills.