I love books that explore the way people live in different parts of the world. This week, my son and I read a number of books about homes from different places around the globe. He was fascinated, and the books prompted a number of unusual blanket-and-chair forts around here.
If You Lived Here – by Giles Laroche
This beautifully illustrated book features homes from all over the world — Venetian palaces, Chinese tulous, cave dwellings, Swiss chalets. It doesn’t just include homes from different parts of the world–it includes homes from different eras in history too. The text is in the 2nd person, and really draws you in: “If you lived here, you could move with your family and bring your house, called a yurt, along with you.” Or “If you lived here, your bedroom would be inside a mountain.” There’s additional information at the bottom of each page about the location of each type of house, the time in history when it was made, and the materials that were used to make it.
Homes Around the World – by Max Moore
This book has wonderful images and very accessible text about unusual houses in different parts of the world. It introduced each type of home by putting it in its context — in the jungle, tree houses make sense; near the water, homes on stilts make sense, etc. My only complaint about this book was that it didn’t tell us which country each of these types of houses were located.
Wonderful Houses Around the World – by Yoshio Komatsu
This book explores ten different homes from different parts of the globe: Mongolia, China, Indonesia, India, Romania, Tunisia, Spain, Togo, Senegal, and Bolivia. There are four pages devoted to each home–the first two pages have a photograph of the outside of the house and a brief description of the home; the second two pages show an illustrated cut-away of the interior of the home, and describe the family who lives there. Most of the other books we read focused on the outside of the home, so I appreciated how this one helped my son to picture what the interior would look like as well.
Home – by Carson Ellis
This book is quirky and fun. It’s a bit unusual compared to the other books we read about homes around the world, but it was still a helpful addition. The focus of this book was on the idea that home can be anywhere–an apartment or a palace, a boat or a bees nest. But it added in a number of imaginary homes too–the old woman who lived in a shoe, Atlantians living under water, and “Moonians” on the Moon. My son was quite taken with this book and its fantastic illustrations, but he was also very insistent that we clarify whether each home was real or “just pretend.”
Homes in Many Cultures – by Heather Adamson
The text is very short in this book–more geared for the preschooler crowd–but the photographs of homes around the world are lovely. Also, there’s a great world map insert on each page, showing where each type of home is located.