Lisa Vegan's Reviews > If You Lived Here: Houses of the World

If You Lived Here by Giles Laroche
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Feb 05, 12

bookshelves: childrens, non-fiction, picture-books, social-culture, history, reviewed
Recommended for: kids who appreciate seeing houses of people around the world & through history
Read on February 05, 2012

Oh, I loved this book. As a kid it would have provided endless hours of entertainment. Since I’ve been about 4 years old I’ve been fascinated by houses, and I’d say at ages 9 and 10 this would have been a favorite book of mine.

If this were not a picture book of typical length but a book of a couple hundred pages, I’d have given it 5 stars for sure. I wanted more, much more.

For each type of house, except the last one, this information is given: house type, materials, location, date, and fascinating fact. The illustrations for each type of house are detailed and wonderful and include not only examples of the houses, but pictures of various background settings, scenery, and people, and sometimes animals. I loved the illustrations; they’re really special, I think.

House types covered are dogtrot or possumtrot log house, chalet, pueblo, connected barn, cave dwelling, palafitos stilt, Venetian palace, chateau, Fujian tulou earthen dwelling, half-timbered townhouses, white towns, decorated houses of Ndebele, yurt, Airstream trailer, floating house, and treehouse.

At the end of the book there is a map with numbers that are matched with miniature pictures of the houses.

I did wonder about the outfits of the children who lived in the caves and wonder whether they’re a good representation of how they dress. Otherwise, with the limited knowledge I have, most of what’s depicted in the illustrations seems authentic. Some of the houses shown are revealed to be actual specific houses. I did appreciate how much information was imparted in such a few pages. It’s conveyed well in very few words with illustrations how people live or lived in each of these types of houses.

4 ½ stars, a bit over a half star off because this could have made a fabulous longer book. School aged children and older people too would fully appreciate a much longer book with many more examples and pictures. I’m tempted to give it 5 stars because what it aspired to do it did superbly.
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Comments (showing 1-6)

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message 6: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn Oooh, this sounds really wonderful! I have always been fascinated by houses, too (probably due, in large part, to the fact that my dad designed and built them!) and I loved learning about how other people in other parts of the world live. I'm definitely going to look for this book. I think I will love it!

Lisa Vegan Kathryn, That's so cool about your dad!!! Yes, I think you'll really like this book. I wish it had been a couple hundred pages long, with many more examples.

message 4: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn Lisa wrote: "Kathryn, That's so cool about your dad!!! Yes, I think you'll really like this book. I wish it had been a couple hundred pages long, with many more examples."

I used to love visiting the job sites when they were building the houses. It made me appreciate houses so much, knowing all the work that went into them and seeing them built from the ground up.

And, good news, my library does have a copy of this book. Hooray!

Lisa Vegan Hooray! It's a treat. Can't wait to see if you like it as much as I do.

Lisa Vegan Chandra wrote: "Oh yes, you're right! This looks righ up our alley!!"

I think you'll both love it!

Lisa Vegan Abigail wrote: "This sounds similar to Wonderful Houses Around the World! Off to add to my list!"

Yes! I gave that one 4 stars too, I see.

And rereading your review of it, I see some of the same examples were included. No photos in this book, by the way; just illustrations, but they're great. And you said about that book what I said about this one: wanting more! I'm glad you gave more details in your review than I did for Wonderful Houses... because otherwise I wouldn't have remembered any details.

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