Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The ABC Book of American Homes

The ABC Book of American Homes

Michael Shoulders
Illustrator:  Sarah S. Brannen 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Charlesbridge, 2008   ISBN: 978-1570915659

People in America live in all kinds of homes. In addition to the more usual houses and apartments, there are also homes that are on water, in trees, and underground. This is an alphabetical journey that looks at the different kinds of homes that can be found around the country.

The author begins with "A is for Apartment." He explains what an apartment is and describes what it is like. Further along in the book we see that that "E is Earth-Sheltered Home." These underground homes typically have a south wall that is mostly made of glass. Skylights in the ceilings allow the rooms in other parts of the house to get some sunlight during the day. If you have a hankering for a home that is different you might want to emulate one of the three pigs and build your house out of straw. Straw houses are environmentally friendly because they are not made of wood and because they are very energy efficient.

This book is not only packed with interesting facts about homes of all kinds, but it is also written in a style that is engaging, touched with humor, and easy to understand. Attractive watercolor illustrations accompany the text, showing all twenty-six of the alphabet homes.