The ABC Book of American Homes

Overview

Houses in trees, houses on water, houses with wheels! America is a country of diverse people who live in all types of homes—homes made of wood, metal, glass, even snow! In the desert, on a farm, or by the beach, American houses have only one thing in common—they provide shelter and comfort to those who live in them. No matter the size, shape, or location, they are places to call home. This alphabetical survey spans over three centuries of architecture. Vivid illustrations and simple, informative text introduce ...

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Overview

Houses in trees, houses on water, houses with wheels! America is a country of diverse people who live in all types of homes—homes made of wood, metal, glass, even snow! In the desert, on a farm, or by the beach, American houses have only one thing in common—they provide shelter and comfort to those who live in them. No matter the size, shape, or location, they are places to call home. This alphabetical survey spans over three centuries of architecture. Vivid illustrations and simple, informative text introduce young readers to the limitlessness of the American imagination. Readers will not only learn about a variety of houses, from yurts to pueblos to farmhouses, but about the variety of people who inhabit them.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janice DeLong
From the "A" of high-rise apartment building living to the" Zzzzz" of falling asleep in one's own home, this unique alphabet book encompasses much architectural information in a format that engages the young listener and the early reader. Vocabulary is too advanced for the beginning reader to tackle alone, but full-page illustrations make this title ideal for reading aloud in a classroom. Geographical location and climatic influences on the choice of building materials are demonstrated, and readers may be surprised at the wide variety of weather conditions demonstrated within the boundaries called the United States. An assortment of culture groups add to the interest of the text and pictures, from Cajun cottage to the yurt, influenced by Mongolian nomads, and the Xinfang of the Chinese. Advantages and disadvantages in residing at the beach, in an igloo, and even in a geodesic home are simply explained in a manner that whets the appetite for further research. Farmhouses, garage apartments, houseboats and junk houses are all pictured with happy families involved in the business of life. This volume exemplifies the nearly infinite possibilities available to the writer who simply knows her a-b-c's, and the creative genius of a multifaceted population. Reviewer: Janice DeLong
School Library Journal

Gr 2-5

This book introduces all sorts of dwellings. Some entries will sound familiar-apartment buildings, farmhouses, igloos, the White House. Some will be unfamiliar to most kids-Quonset hut, junk houses. The author obviously had trouble coming up with something for the difficult letters, and it's quite a stretch to call Xinfang and yurts American houses. Done in muted colors, the full-page illustrations show multicultural families in their various homes. Most dwellings are summed up in one page; a few are given a spread, such as "Unique Home." The information is interesting enough, but it's best used as a jumping-off point for further study. Angela Gustafson's Imagine a House (Out of the Box, 2003) covers housing around the world and uses photographs as well as drawings. Strictly additional.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI

Kirkus Reviews
Broad spaces, small figures, precise architectural details and clean, straight lines gives Brannen's art in this alphabetical gallery of housing an elegant simplicity that Shoulders's matter-of-fact commentary struggles to emulate: "A is for apartment. All homes in an apartment building share the same roof. Families who live in apartments might have neighbors living beside them, below them and above them . . . ." From Beach House and Cajun Cottage to Mobile Homes and Pueblos, from a Junk House built from recycled materials to the stately White House, the author draws them all together with the closing observation that, whatever a home's nature, "what makes it special are the people you share it with." The device works well for the most part, encompassing Kilbourne (a Sears, Roebuck kit), Quonset Hut and Xinfang (Chinese for "brand new home"), although Unique Home is a decidedly limp entry. Despite the uneven text, consider this as a low-key alternative to the likes of Ann Morris's Houses and Homes (1992) or, going further back, Mary Ann Hoberman's A House Is a House for Me (1978). (Informational picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570915666
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/15/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,006,326
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.04 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Shoulders has worked in the field of education for over thirty years. He is the author of several alphabet and counting books. He lives in Clarksville, Tennessee.

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