A place to call home by Alexis Deacon is a charming children's book with a modern edge to it with both the graphics and the storyline. The way in which Alexis integrates the text within the pictures after the introduction by using only speech bubbles is very inventive. It creates almost a cartoon strip feel, which unlike most children's books today actually relates to the modern KS1 child as a reader, especially boys.
The story of a family of hamsters journey to find a new home warms the reader as both adult and child can emotionally relate to the hamsters situation. There are pages throughout the book which include all of the family of hamsters stood in a line up with their emotions and thoughts displayed in speech bubbles around them. This ingenious revealing of feeling used by Alexis shows the reader the raw emotion felt by the family. The reader from this should relate to at least one of the hamsters emotions being displayed, which they may have felt at one time, for example 'don't worry brother we're here to protect you' and 'there's nothing we can do'.
The way in which the book uses language throughout relates to the young reader as it is written to be read as it would be if spoken. The hamsters articulate their feelings of the situation they are in whilst the pictures show the reader the situation the hamsters are in. This interplay between picture and text continues throughout the book, so therefore this book would be very useful in exploring alternative methods of writing a book, for older children in KS2. It would also be useful for any social, emotional and behavioural development, as the hamsters are lost and confused throughout the book, but when an opportunity arrive for them to use aggression against another animal they choose not too.
Overall I think 'A Place To Call Home' is a great children's book which captures the reader no matter their age, with the wonderful way in which it is written and presented and also the heart warming and amusing journey that occurs throughout. A thoroughly entertaining read!
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- Reading Age: 6-9 years
- Reading Aloud Age: 3-6 years
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