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Houses and Homes Topic

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Houses and Homes Topic Booklist

There’s no place like home! Houses and homes come in all shapes and sizes, from caravans and houseboats to apartments and cabins. Whether you are looking at cities, towns or villages, our selection of recommended children’s books about houses and homes will help primary school children to build the best foundations for understanding the topic.

Books about different kinds of homes

Kate Baker
 & Rebecca Green
Take a sneak peek inside homes from all around the world with this charming lift-the-flap book, written by Kate Baker and beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Green. From cosy wooden houses in snow-blanketed Greenland to traditional Maasai mud huts in East Africa, young children will discover different ways of living across the globe and get a unique glimpse into diverse cultures and communities.
Richard O'Neill
 & Cindy Kang
A Traveller girl with a passion for design and technology collects cans for her local recycling plant and uses the metal to renovate an elderly neighbour's caravan. When Janie’s neighbour Mrs Tolen goes into hospital with a broken hip, it looks as though she will have to move out of her old caravan and into a house. Janie is desperate to help, but all seems lost until her school visits a local recycling plant. All it takes from there is imagination, a supportive community, and lots and lots of hard work to transform Mrs Tolen’s old caravan into a safe and secure new home! The latest picture book by renowned Romani storyteller Richard O’Neill celebrates the traditional Traveller virtues of resilience, adaptability, loyalty and independence.
Carson Ellis
This is a beautifully illustrated picture book that depicts homes of different kinds, both real and imaginative. The book is wonderful for provoking thinking and discussion about what makes something a home and why people might live in different sorts of homes.
Jess Hitchman
 & Lili La Beleine

In Every House on Every Street takes us behind the doors and windows of one house in one street. It shows us the family, the community and the love that resides there. As we are shown around the house we learn that the rooms are not just rooms, they are places to play, care and feel together. And we learn that behind every door, there is a family with a story to tell.

Books about houses from the past

Goldie Hawk
 & Sarah Gibb
Non-fiction Picturebook

This is a charming laser-cut book designed to explore houses and homes in different periods of British history. With a focus on wealthier homes, the chronological guide begins in the Late Middle Ages and travels through seven different eras, finishing at present day. Fold-out sections and intricate laser-cut flaps allow little hands to open up the houses, peek through windows and observe different family members engaging in their activities in and around the home. Broader topics such as clothes, food and architecture are considered and the way in which priorities and lifestyles change over time is gently drawn out across the different sections.

Jan Oke
 & Ian Nolan (photographer)
This unusual and original book is a photographic picture story that compares old and new houses. The story follows two Victorian toy soldiers that were hidden beneath the floorboards of a house in 1870. When the pair are discovered 140 years later they are surprised to see just how much the house has changed.
Jeannie Baker

Belonging is a wordless picture book created by Jeannie Baker in her distinctive collage style. The story is told through a series of suburban scenes viewed through a window and starts with the birth of a baby girl following her life up to the birth of her own child. Gradually we watch the re-greening of the landscape and the growth of community spirit as people come together to improve their surroundings. A book to be read on several levels but one that creates a hopeful feel, encouraging readers to think about how they can create a similar improvement in their own environment.

Books about building houses

Polly Faber
 & Klas Fahlén
Building a Home is a beautifully illustrated picture book guide to exactly how an old building can become a brand-new home. Now available in paperback, with action-packed artwork from Klas Fahlen and a gentle narrative text by Polly Faber, find out all about the people, machines, processes and tools involved in breathing new life into an old building. Packed with builders, cranes, diggers, cement mixers and a host of other exciting tools and machinery, follow a crumbling old factory on the edge of town as it goes from being an empty shell to something entirely new . . . a home.
Chris Butterworth
 & Lucia Gaggiotti
Non-fiction Picturebook
This is a highly appealing non-fiction picture book that takes a peek into the inner workings of a house, from its electrical fittings to its structural architecture to its water system. With text that is accessible to young children and cartoon style diagrams and illustrations, this is a great classroom non-fiction book to use in a topic about homes.
Andrea Beaty
Chapter book

Iggy Peck is a young boy with a passion for building. No matter what materials he has to hand (from apples to nappies), he manages to use them to construct another new amazing creation. When Iggy’s new teacher bans building, Iggy will have to find a way to convince her that his architecture skills are very useful indeed. There is also an accompanying STEM activity book.

Joshua David Stein
A young brick goes on a journey to find her place in the world by visiting ten celebrated brick structures around the globe. Brick's observations begin at home and then extend globally as she travels to a diverse list of brick structures - Malbork Castle in Poland, Mahabodhi Buddhist Temple in India, Grosvenor Estate apartments in England, and more - all the while pondering where she may end up. With a tender and timeless text by Joshua David Stein and architectural line art by Julia Rothman, this tribute to becoming part of something greater serves children and adults alike.

Eugene Trivizas
 & Helen Oxenbury
This is a fantastic twist on the classic fairy tale 'The Three Little Pigs'. In this hilarious new version of the story, the three little wolves build houses of bricks, concrete and steel in an attempt to escape the Big Bad Pig, who is well armed with a tool kit including a sledgehammer and a pneumatic drill. Highly recommended.

Books about what makes a home

John Burningham
A little boy lives in a house with his family. Unbeknown to the humans, a family of mice secretly shares the house too. But one day the mice are spotted and the mouse catcher is called in. The mice become fugitives and leave their home, which is now too dangerous for them, and they seek solace in the back garden instead. Will it ever be safe for them to return to the house?
Joe Todd-Stan
From the award-winning Joe Todd-Stanton, comes an exquisite and heartfelt picture book touching on the bewildering experience of moving house. This beautiful story explores how this can affect a child's sense of belonging, but also how it can open them up to new and wonderful experiences. When Nyla has to leave her home in the countryside to start life again in the city, all she can think about is everything she misses from before. So when a comet comes crashing through the city streets and starts to glow and grow, Nyla can't resist a chance to head somewhere that feels closer to what she had before. But what starts as an escape could be just the thing to make her finally feel at home.
Britta Teckentrup
 & Patricia Hegarty
Wherever we may choose to roam, We need a place to call our home. Follow a little bear as he discovers a host of animal homes and more in this beautiful die-cut picture book that explores what home looks like for different kinds of creatures.
Julie Fogliano
 & Lane Smith

Rhythmical and enchanting, A House that Once Was is a picture book about imagining and connecting with how things might have been different in other times. Deep in the woods two children discover an old house; “a house that once was but now isn’t a home”. The children enter the house through a broken window and it is immediately clear that the house used to be somebody’s home, as the pair discover faded pictures, empty food jars and abandoned music records. The children begin to imagine different possibilities about who the house’s former occupants could have been and where they have gone; perhaps a boy who built flying machines or a girl who has become shipwrecked on a desert island and now wears ‘coconut clothes and a pineapple tie’. After their fanciful adventures, the two children return to their own house where dinner is waiting and the rooms are cosy and warm, and unlike the house in the woods is definitely a ‘home’.

This is a wonderful book to use with KS1 for sparking discussions about how a house becomes a home and to set children off on their own imaginative adventures about who might have once inhabited the house in the woods.

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