Review Blog

Nov 14 2019

Home by Charles Hope

cover image

Wild Dog Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781742034249.
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Themes: Information book, Animal homes and habitats. The ingenious dwellings of the animal kingdom are portrayed here through beautiful and insightful photography (as with Hope's very successful Close up series and the CBCA shortlisted The big book of Antarctica). The book first explains why homes are important for animals before giving brief information about animal habitats. It then separates animals into two categories: the builders and the squatters. The builders section shows and discusses webs, hives lodges, burrows, bird nests and non-bird nests (such as termite mounds and alligator nests). The squatters section deals with those who dwell in caves (entrance, twilight and dark zones), hollows, shells and exoskeletons. There is no great detail about any one animal but a focus on the types of homes and why and how they are built or chosen. There is a great diversity of animals mentioned, including many that children may be unfamiliar with or not know much about. There is then a double page each on animal homes in zoos, pet life and farm life (with each discussing the purpose and associated problems of these unnatural animal homes). There is also some information about baby animals' first homes (eggs, chrysalis, pouch, frogspawn, womb) and those who are carried by their parents as young. The book then succinctly answers the question of why not all animals need homes and explains migration and its purpose.
Overall, this is a fantastic text that explains why things are the way they are rather than just stating what happens. It provides fascinating information about this Australian Curriculum topic in an interesting and engaging way. It is very reader friendly with plain language, an unfussy layout that contains lots of white space and some full-page photographs that provide a break from the pages with longer text sections. The photographs are spectacular and provide a detailed and insightful look at many new and unusual animal homes. There is also a detailed glossary and index to assist readers in developing research skills.
Nicole Nelson

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