This book will tug at those heartstrings in the most delightful of ways. A home excitedly waits for its new family to arrive, and enjoys the warm, loving presence a growing family brings to its walls. But one day, the family packs up, waves goodbye, and… leaves. Devastated and confused, the home refuses to let anyone else look at it, swelling its doors shut, rattling its shingles, and creaking its stairs. Love always wins, though, and one day, two men manage to break through Home’s protective shell and start a life there. Afraid to love again, Home quietly observes at first; as the two set about making the house a Home once again, it warms to the thought of housing a family again. Told from the Home’s point of view, A Home Again captures the wonderful feeling that make us think of home: the smells, the sounds of a growing family as pitter patters become stomps and clomps; the comfort of having everyone existing in the same space. What we don’t think of, and what A Home Again shows us, is that our homes become part of our family; we breathe life into our homes by living, loving, and being within, infusing every wall, every floorboard, with laughter, tears, love… just everything. I love that this sweet story also illustrates that anyone can be a family.
Warm illustration invites readers into Home’s happiest moments. When left alone, the colors grow cool, even dark, until we see Home’s newest family arrive on the scene. Even empty, we know that Home is considering these two gentlemen; a lone chair is bathed in the warm sunlight coming in through a window, casting a long shadow behind it. One gentleman holds flowers, ostensibly from the area around the Home, seen through a window as the other kneels in the doorway, looking in, as their dog stands with him, surveying their new digs. It’s a spread filled with opportunity and possibility.
I love A Home Again, and you will too. Display with The House of Grass and Sky by Mary Lyn Ray and E. B. Goodale for a similar take on a home that needs a family to bring it to life. This is a great book for social-emotional learning collections, and a great book to read when talking about emotions and feelings, especially for younger learners who are still learning to identify their own feelings and to recognize those feelings in others.