cover image Home Base

Home Base

Nikki Tate, illus. by Katie Kath. Holiday House, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-3663-7

In this rhythmic celebration of family and self-reliance, a mother and daughter embark from their shared home into parallel story arcs—the single parent begins a bricklaying job, while the child joins a baseball team. Tate conveys the duo’s journeys in analogous staccato lists (“Cap. Glove. Shoes” for the girl; “Gloves. Goggles. Boots” for her mom), offering each undertaking equal importance and underlining the idea that small steps and practice (“Catch./ Toss./ Grin” at the ballpark; “Butter./ Scrape./ Smooth” on the job site) can meaningfully accumulate. Kath’s pastel and watercolor illustrations enliven the text, with vibrant, nostalgic-style panels that align the two narratives. A full spread of the girl pitching (“Straight. Fast. Strong”), the mother’s level achieving an even plane underneath, stands out, and a celebratory end-of-book ice cream date connects the independent duo back to their shared love for each other. This picture book unobtrusively featuring women in nontraditional roles empowers, as does its message of teamwork and support. Ages 4–8. [em](Mar.) [/em]