Picture books celebrate the true meaning of home


HOME can be a tough concept for young children to grasp. Simple on its face, it carries with it many nuances. The Road Home, by Sarah Jacoby and Katie Cotton, and Through the Gate, by Sally Fawcett, explore those nuances in very different, yet heartwarming, ways.

The Road Home Cotton JacobyTHE ROAD HOME, by Sarah Jacoby and Katie Cotton, Harry N. Abrams, March 7, 2017, Hardcover, $15.95 (ages 5-7)

Winter is coming and animals are preparing. The path is never easy and danger never fully gone, but when families are together, they are home.

This road is hard, this road is long,
but we are not alone.
For you are here, and I’m with you…
… and so this road is home.

The Road Home is a sweet, beautifully illustrated book, featuring family groups on their own and how they interact in the wild. Author Sarah Jacoby’s prose is gentle and welcoming, even when warning of danger. And Katie Cotton’s illustrations are realistic with a dreamy quality about the edges.

Through the Gate Sally FawcettTHROUGH THE GATE, by Sally Fawcett, EK Books, May 1, 2017, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 4-8)

I first saw our ‘new’ house from the front gate.
It certainly wasn’t new.

The roof was drooping.
The paint was peeling.
The step was crumbling.
Everywhere I looked I saw cracks.

A young girl moves to a new home and can’t seem to find any joy in all the change she’s experiencing. As the weeks go by, however, she starts to notice little changes. The girl’s outlook parallels her new house, which gradually takes on a new shine thanks to love of its new owners. By the end of the book, the house has become a home.

Author/illustrator Sally Fawcett’s text mirrors her illustrations — sparse and sad in the beginning and taking on more color as the story progresses. Though Through the Gate is a great option for children facing a new move, it’s a story all young readers can relate to on one level or another. Change is not easy, especially when you’re a child. Through the Gate gives parents and children permission to take their time through these experiences.

Beyond the above, the illustrations in Through the Gate invite young readers to keep an eye out for differences, developing observation skills and adding a fun element throughout.

© 2017, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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