Wednesday, December 5, 2012

If You Lived Here

If You Lived Here…You’d already be home.  Each time I looked at this book, that is what I thought.  And yet, not one of these homes reflected my own.  I’d love to see each of them up close and some I have in my travels.  I’ve seen a Greek island village as pictured on the cover, and I’ve seen the canals of Venice and the homes that exist there.  Others I’ve seen in movies, but I welcomed this unique opportunity to learn details of how they came to look the way they do and why.  I never pictured a log cabin as being two separate spaces.  With the explanation that trees taller than 16 feet were tough to find, it makes perfect sense.   Many homes had features designed for protection from outside intruders.  Adobe homes had ladders that could be pulled up and inside so that intruders could not get inside.  It’s a wonder though that invaders didn’t start carrying ladders with them.  Where there’s a will.  Drawbridges used to access, or drawn up to not access do provide quite the barrier to entering a French chateau.  Protection isn’t always from outsiders, though the design of a Chinese Fujian tulou does look to present quite an obstacle with its high walls.  Natural elements, such as earthquakes also need to be considered, especially depending on your location and the likelihood of such events.  The Fujian tulou is designed to withstand the impact of an earthquake with walls that thin out at the ground level and curve.  Back to intruders, “white towns” found on many Greek islands through the Aegean Sea had streets throughout the village that were laid out like a maze, intentionally, to trick invaders and make them get lost once on land.  Overall, each of the homes featured in “If You Lived Here” was fascinating and the illustrations which were also created by author Giles LaRoche appear to have painstaking detail.  The style of bas-relief paper cut collage is such an intricate process to create each of these homes.  I am interested to check out LaRoche’s other work as well.  

If You Lived Here
ISBN: 978-0-547-23892-0
Published 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
I borrowed this copy from the public library to review.
After reading and reviewing, I also received a review copy from the publisher specifically for the CYBILS.

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