Reviews for Home Sweet Home

Booklist Reviews 2013 September #2
This fifth book about the doings of Sam the Library Mouse and his adventurous friend Sarah is yet another testimonial for the specialness of libraries and books. In this episode, the mice learn that the library children's room is to be renovated, so they seek refuge in the large attic, a space perfect for building their own houses. Using resources of the library (pencil and paper for building materials; architecture books for plans), they try various styles of homes, but nothing is quite right. Sarah hits upon an unexpected solution with the unique use of a book, and the library gets a wonderful display of their discarded homes--a win-win situation. Back matter features a short paragraph and a photo about each of the 13 types of houses the mice build. This is a fine use of light fantasy to teach a little lesson about building structures, and it will be especially useful to those preparing children for the disruptions that come with home renovations. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Fall
While the library undergoes renovations, mice Sam and Sarah, who have decamped to the attic, build their own cozy dwellings (yurt, igloo, geodesic dome, etc.) using library books for reference. The gouache illustrations, though stiff, clearly show each type of place. Information about the buildings is appended; it may be of more interest to budding architects than the stretch of a story line will be.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 August #1
Sam the mouse and his friend Sarah are back in a new, fifth adventure, and this time, it's centered on the renovations to their library home. Needing temporary residences, they move to the attic to build them. Of course, they need architecture books to determine which type suits them. Sam, the storyteller and dreamer, builds his with formal columns, while Sarah, the explorer, makes a yurt. But neither seems cozy enough for a home, so they keep trying, building a castle, an igloo, a bungalow and more. Finally, Sarah comes up with the perfect solution: She uses an atlas to form an A-frame they can share. When the renovation is completed and the students return to the library, they find each of Sam's and Sarah's houses sitting on the shelves with a sign that says: "Home and where to find it." (It's too bad there's no map or labels depicted in the illustration to help young library customers with the "where to find it" part.) Kirk's familiar gouache illustrations maintain a mouse perspective filled with library details. This clever presentation of world housing types has three pages of backmatter that describe each style and its location. Not only is the story amusing, but the information will be useful in classrooms. The familiar characters make this architectural adventure feel downright homey. (Picture book. 5-9) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 August

K-Gr 2--When faced with a real-life problem, Sam knows just what to do. After the mouse reads a note indicating that a "renovation" in his library is afoot, he uses a dictionary to define the new word and then locates architecture resources to help him design temporary quarters in the attic. Sam's cerebral style contrasts with that of his more adventurous friend Sarah. While Sam gravitates toward classical Roman buildings and grand castles, Sarah favors yurts, igloos, and geodesic domes. Seeking a perfect home, the two pals produce many miniature structures. In the end, Sam resides most comfortably under a book, which Sarah presents to him as an example of an A-frame house. Predictably, with the library renovations completed, the children's room re-opens with the mouse projects prominently displayed on the shelf tops, making for a warm, welcoming, and creative environment. Kirk's gouache cartoon illustrations are charming. The back matter includes information on houses around the world, photos, and a glossary. Newcomers and fans of the previous titles will welcome this tale, and librarians will put it to good use in their research lessons.--Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT

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