Picture Book Project: Homes Around the World


“The Potential of the Child is stunted when the end point of their learning is formulated in advance.” – Carla Rinaldi

Children’s literature holds so many possibilities for open-ended explorations. As Maria Montessori stated, education is not something a teacher does, but a process which occurs naturally and spontaneously in any child. Enjoy sharing stories with your children and see what questions are sparked and then take their lead in extending the picture book experience.

A picture book can be shared in so many different ways and the weight it plays, depends on you as the parent, care giver, or teacher. It helps to know the story you are reading well. Pre-reading prior to sharing with your child allows you to think of little anecdotes to sprinkle throughout the story. A little knowledge about the author and illustrator and even the publishing house is always beneficial. Gather more titles by the author and illustrator or on the topic to allow this book to be the launch pad for further questioning and research.


Every now and then a picture book comes along and it is moving, truly moving and it becomes, almost overnight, a modern day classic. Often it is the clever combination of author and illustrator and on other occasions it is simply the magic of one person. In its simplicity an entire forest of activities open up and the possibilities are endless!

Playful Learning: Home

Home, by Carson Ellis is a picture book created by the most magical illustrator Carson Ellis who is based in Oregon and has a wonderful life with her two sons, husband Colin Meloy, and many animals. Her illustration style is whimsical and wild and embraces the imagination of its viewers with the unspoken invitation to explore and question…

  • Who lives here?
  • What do they eat?
  • What do they value?
  • Would I like to live like these people?
  • Where in the world do people live like this?


Print out the attached world map and see if you can locate these homes on the map. You can write down the continents, name of the countries, and illustrate the homes.

Another possibility is to do some research on any of the homes, countries and cultures mentioned?
What can you find out about:

  • Vikings?
  • The country of Kenya or Japan?
  • Norse Gods?
  • Babushkas?
  • Nursery rhymes?

As a family or a class group create your own book entitled Home inspired by Carson Ellis. Pose the question “Let’s create our own Home book, what shall we include?”

Home is a must for any serious book collector and makes the most beautiful and thoughtful gift. Make sure to check out other titles illustrated by Carson Ellis.

For Further Exploration…

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