Library Mouse: Home Sweet Home
When Sam the library mouse and his friend Sarah wake to find the library being packed up to prepare for a major renovation, they realize they won’t have a home during the construction. So off they go in search of a new place to live. Sam knows research is key, so he finds books about architectural styles to get ideas for building a temporary home from objects found around the library. They build and live in a variety of houses: a castle, an igloo, a yurt, a modern house, and even a geodesic dome. But none feels like home to Sam. Finally, though, the renovation of the library is complete, and they can move back to their true home, the library!
The book includes photos of the real house styles discussed in the text and a relevant glossary of architectural terms.
Reviews of Library Mouse: Home Sweet Home
Review from School Library Journal
Newcomers and fans of the previous titles will welcome this tale, and librarians will put it to good use in their research lessons.
Review from Kirkus Reviews
Kirk’s familiar gouache illustrations maintain a mouse perspective filled with library details. This clever presentation of world housing types has three pages of back matter that describes each style and its location. Not only is the story amusing, but the information will be useful in classrooms.
Review from Booklist
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.
Daniel Kirk speaks about Library Mouse: Home Sweet Home
I always love coming up with new Library Mouse stories, and I have dozens of ideas for things Sam and Sarah could do.
My editor, Howard Reeves, really wanted me to make a book with architecture for a theme. “Architecture?” I said. “Why would kids want to know anything about that? It’s a Library Mouse book!”
He answered that kids spend all day in buildings—their home, school, gym, library, movie theater, mall, and so on, and that they probably don’t think much about how buildings are built, why they look the way they do, and so on. And since Sam the Library Mouse is so good at research, he could teach kids a lot of things about building.
I realized that the building most kids know very well is their own home. And what, by the way, is the difference between a house and a home? I figured I’d give Sam the chance to find out, by making a house of his own while the library he lives in is being renovated. Of course Sarah gets to build her own house, too, and her taste in architecture is much different than Sam’s.
I did the art for this book in the usual Library Mouse style, gouache on watercolor paper. This is a very time-consuming thing, and it took me nearly five months to make the pictures. I hope people think it was worth it!
Things to think about and do after you have read Library Mouse: Home Sweet Home
We all live in a house (or apartment, or condo, or igloo or yurt) but not everybody feels like their house is a home.
What makes the place you live a home? What things and people do you need around so that you feel at home?
Have you ever lived in a house that didn’t feel like a home?
Sam and Sarah each found house-styles that seemed to suit them just right.
Do you think there’s a certain kind of house or dwelling that would suit you? Try drawing a picture of you in your fantasy home.
How would life change if you lived in a castle, or an underground tunnel, or a geodesic dome? Would it make you happier, would it be fun?
What kinds of things would you put in your new home to make it a dream house?
In Home Sweet Home Sam and Sarah, though they are mice, build houses like people would live in. But in real life, mice, birds, rabbits, and many other creatures, including some insects, build nests or homes for themselves. You might want to do some research about animals and their homes. What do different animals use for materials? How strong are their homes? How long are they made to last? Do any animals have possessions that they keep, like people do?