Place to Call Home – book review

A Place to Call Home
by Alexis Deacon
illustrated by Viviane Schwarz
Picture book
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)

A group of (what appears to be) hamsters outgrows their hidey hole home in the junkyard and the seven of them decide that they must find new digs. They are afraid to venture out into the world without some kind of protection (very, very small portable holes that they can take with them on their quest), but they soon find enough portable holes for everyone. Well, everyone, except “Brother,” who has to make do with a lampshade. He’s the only one who can see anything, though, so he tries to guide his siblings through the inevitable dangers and obstacles they encounter outside of their hole. What follows is a hysterical adventure as the hamsters (wearing rubber gloves, a boot, a tea cup, a paper towel roll, and a faucet over their heads) attempt to cross the junkyard. They cross the “sea,” climb a “mountain,” struggle through the “desert,” and finally take a peek out from underneath their holes – just in time to see a terrible beast carrying off “Brother.” A very confused junkyard dog is assaulted by hamsters (and left wearing their accoutrements), as they make off with Brother and unleash themselves upon the world. “This place looks nice.”

A fun and imaginative story about expanding one’s horizons, overcoming fears, and finding a new home, A Place to Call Home, will make adults and kids giggle as the hamsters take on the world. Cute hamsters wearing ridiculous things on their heads = winning combination!

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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CLOSING NOTICE: The Huntley Area Public Library will be closed Monday, May 27, 2024 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. The exterior book drop will close at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 26. The library will reopen at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.