cover image A Place to Call Home

A Place to Call Home

Alexis Deacon, illus. by Viviane Schwarz. Candlewick, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5360-6

What's not to love about a crew of hamsterlike creatures bumbling across a junkyard in ridiculous headgear? With rubber gloves, a faucet, and a paper towel tube shoved on their heads for protection ("NOW we're safe!" one says), they embark on a search for a new home. They cross an ocean (readers can see it's a puddle), a "desert," and make their way to the edge of the world%E2%80%94the top of an old dryer. In scenes bursting with physical comedy, Schwarz's (There Are No Cats in This Book) furry animals squabble, fret, and cheer each other on; in sequential panels, their running commentary appears in word balloons above their heads. When the junkyard dog grabs one of them, they balk ("We'll never get him back!" "There's nothing we can do!"), but taking courage from all they've done so far, they tackle the dog and rescue their sibling. While the creatures may trip over themselves, blundering through their tiny lives not knowing quite where they are headed, Deacon (While You Are Sleeping) and Schwarz never put a foot wrong. Children will clamor for repeats. Ages 3%E2%80%93up. (July)