No place like home by Ronojoy Ghosh

cover image

Random House, 2016. ISBN 9780857988461
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Humour, Polar Bears, Home, Journeys. Polar bear, George, lives in the city but is very homesick and this has made him grumpy. He sets out to find his home but has to try a number of places to find which is truly his. He leaves the crowded, cramped city and hitch hikes his way to find his home. He lies in a tree, but realises this is not his home, he tries living on a mountain but is afraid of heights, he tries the desert but his is too hot, then the sea, but it is too wet and sometimes scary. Eventually he gets into a little boat and rows and rows, finally finding a strange white land.
He likes the cold and the ice, he likes the snow upon his tongue, he likes everything he can see, and decides that this is home.
Children will love the journey taken by George, looking for his home. They will recognise the different places he tries and be able to tell the reader that this is not where George should be and be able to give reasons why it is not his home. They will revel in George's travels, understanding that there is a place where we all feel at home.
The illustration of poor George looking so sad on the cover will entice younger readers to open the book, and see why he is so sad, grinning with him at the end when he finds his place on earth. Children will love the stylised depiction of a variety of habitats and be able to recognise which animals live in those places.
This is a fun introduction to the idea of habitat, of animals being linked to one place, of being taken out of their own environment, of the meaning of the idiom, No place like home.
Fran Knight