illustrated by Vanessa Cabban
Mole thinks that his burrow is small and dark and dull. So he sets off to find somewhere BIG and BRIGHT and BEAUTIFUL instead. But finding the perfect home is not that simple.
“With a warm and satisfying conclusion, Jonathan Emmett has proved that he can write with clear insight and sympathy into the mind of young children and his books are filled with their sense of wonder.”
“A modern fable, infused with friendship and contentment …
joy-filled, endearing and memorable.”
THE ADVERTISER, BENDIGO AUSTRALIA
Bringing Down the Moon proved to be one of my most popular picture books and so its publishers, Walker Books, were keen for me to produce another story featuring Mole and his friends. However this proved difficult. None of the plots I came up with seemed to be quite right for the characters*, so in the end I decided to put the project aside to work on other stories.
One of these stories was about a family of mice living in a farmyard. The story began with the mice living comfortably in a hole in the wall of a barn. The mice are not happy with their lot, so they set off on a journey around the farm in search of a new home. But while they found places that suited one or another of their requirements, there was always something else wrong with the location. And in the end they realised that the place best suited to them was their old hole.
Before I had finished the first draft of the story, I realised that this plot was a good fit with Mole’s impetuous, aspirational character. So I began rewriting the story around Mole and his friends.
In Bringing Down the Moon, Mole learnt that he couldn’t possess the thing that he found attractive, but he could still enjoy its beauty. In No Place Like Home Mole learns that the things he finds attractive aren’t always suited to his needs. I think that’s something that many people will have experienced, whether they’re choosing a new home or a new pair of shoes.
Vanessa filled the illustrations in each book with a dominant colour by moving the horizon line up and down.
As she did in the first book, Vanessa has extended the story beyond the text with a clever use of the endpapers, imprint and title pages. I particularly like the final endpaper that shows the cosy glow coming from Mole’s hole, which echoes the glow of the sunrise on the initial endpaper.
“Children will love these cozy characters, and Cabban’s lush, grass-green watercolors are a perfect reflection of their world.”
Kelley Rae Unger, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
“Join Mole as he searches for a new home in this charming, easy-to-read picture book … The text and illustrations of this book create a fabulous picture book story for young readers. Readers young and old will identify with the theme of recognizing that what we like is not always what we need.”
Mindy Hardwick, CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
“Emmett builds his story with repeated phrases, ideal for reading aloud and for child participation … Cabban’s illustrations are full of sunny woodland colours and humour (the expression on the hedgehog’s face as it crosses the stepping stones is wonderful), ideally complementing the text.”
“BEAUTIFUL watercolour illustrations, bold, chunky text and a lovely story make ”No Place Like Home” a picture book most pre-school children will find hard to resist … With a warm and satisfying conclusion, Jonathan Emmett has proved that he can write with clear insight and sympathy into the mind of young children and his books are filled with their sense of wonder.”
“A modern fable, infused with friendship and contentment … No Place Like Home is elegantly brought to life in light refreshing, shades, echoing an English summer’s day. Through its simplicity, the story is joy-filled, endearing and memorable – making it a perfect gift idea.”
THE ADVERTISER, BENDIGO AUSTRALIA