Review of the Week: Home by Carson Ellis

HomeEllis, Carson. Home. Carson Ellis, Illus. Picture Book. Candlewick, 02/2015. [40]p. $16.99. 978-0-7636-6529-6. UNSATISFACTORY. GRADES PRE-3.

In her debut picture book, Home, Carson Ellis explores the many different forms a home can take. Although detailed illustrations, rendered in gouache and ink, are well executed, the content of the artwork and text of the book blemish Ellis’ artistic fineness. The most stereotypical depictions of people of color are when she writes, “Some homes are boats. Some homes are wigwams.” The boat approaching the shore toward the indigenous peoples is surely a colonial ship. This is not an innocuous boat that Ellis has chosen to depict but rather one rife with historical undertones. And it is not the only time she shows a person of color in a hackneyed way and setting. Home shows the accomplished artistic ability of Ellis, but it is steeped in typecasting and is therefore not recommended.

Yesica Hurd, San Francisco Public Library

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