cover image Homeplace


Anne Shelby. Orchard Books (NY), $16.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-06882-3

""Your great-great-great-great-grandpa built this house,"" explains a woman to her granddaughter at the opening of this rich pictorial history of a home that six generations of a family have inhabited. Shelby's gentle, comfortingly repetitive text recounts how the dwelling, which began as a log cabin, was enlarged over the years as men cleared more land and planted additional crops while their wives baked bread, spun wool, stitched quilts and rocked babies. The customs and domestic details of each era-from 1810 to 1995-are portrayed impeccably in Halperin's (Hunting the White Cow) wondrously busy watercolor-and-pencil art, deftly balanced arrangements of landscapes, interior scenes, closely focused insets, sequential panels and borders. Showing newfangled inventions (train, car, TV, computer) alongside cherished heirlooms (cradle, quilt, pottery crock, doll), Halperin, like Shelby, presents a heartwarming picture of simultaneous continuity and change. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)