Home Is Where The Heart Is

Home Is Where The Heart Is
Jonny Lambert
Little Tiger

What does it mean to really belong somewhere: that is what is explored in Jonny Lambert’s new picture book.

When Bear wanders into the old wild wood, he decides it’s where he wants to build himself a new home and so he does. There’s plenty of room inside and he adorns it with lovely things (those familiar with Jonny’s books will likely recognise Saffi’s portrait on the shelf); but something is missing. Feeling lonely Bear decides to pay his neighbour a visit and is immediately welcomed into Hare’s small, cramped home.

Despite being complete opposites in many ways the two absolutely love spending their days together outdoors. Spring, summer

and autumn pass in happy companionship, but come the winter, Hare takes to his bed with a nasty chill. Bear takes good care of him till his friend is back on his feet.

When a fierce storm comes crashing through the woods, Bear’s home is completely destroyed. Where can he go? He feels devastated but not for long thanks to Hare who welcomes his friend in with open paws. “From now until forever, my home is your home,” he says.

Now however, their friendship is really put to the test … Will it survive Bear’s clumsiness and Hare’s constant messiness?

The title says it all …

Jonny Lambert portrays so well the emotions of Bear and Hare: the warm glow of friendship illuminates almost every one of the elegant, textured scenes; his capturing of the storms, both meteorological and emotional are equally powerful too. And as always, the balance between text and illustrations is as harmonious as ever.

Pip & Egg

Pip & Egg
Alex Latimer and David Litchfield

This week for the first time in many months I’ve been able to spend time with some of my very close friends and I know just how important strong bonds of friendship are. This poignant story is a demonstration of what true friendship really means.

When Pip and Egg meet, there’s an instant attraction on account of the similarity in their shape and size. Their friendship grows but so too do they: Pip grows roots that hold him in one place, which means that for the friendship to continue, change is necessary: Egg makes daily visits to see sapling Pip. Over the weeks though Egg is transformed with a beak, feathers and wings –

wings that grow so strong she eventually takes to the air.

With Pip’s blessing, Egg decides that it’s time to explore the big wide world. Off she flies leaving a broken hearted Pip rooted to his spot, where he’ll always remain should she ever return.

From the air Egg is amazed at the sights – the forests, lakes, mountains and most of all the city where she stops, forming new attachments.

Eventually though, she knows it’s time to return to the valley from whence she came …

Like everything he does, David Litchfield’s illustrations for this story are stunningly beautiful: rich in fine detail and texture, and the way he uses light and shade creating atmosphere and focus on Egg in the city especially, is truly magical.