Review: If You Lived Here by Giles Laroche

if you lived here

If You Lived Here: Houses of the World by Giles Laroche

This book invites readers to explore the different types of houses that are lived in throughout the world.  Beginning with the phrase, “If you lived here…” the book then describes some unique features of that particular type of home.  There are homes that you would have to go outside to get to the kitchen, others where you would not have to go out to even get to the barn, others are built around caves, still others are close to water or surrounded by it.  The book then defines the type of house, what materials it is made from, where this type of house is found, the date that this house first appeared, and a fact about them.  The tone is kept light and interesting, which will invite young readers to explore this subject in depth.

Laroche’s writing is welcoming and light.  He finds the most unique features of a home and describes them in simple and inviting ways.  Even the information on the materials and location are kept short and contain only the most interesting details. 

The illustrations, done in paper, have a three dimensional effect.  The homes are done in exacting detail that includes individual shingles, decorative features, and even the ability to peer closely and see into the windows to the rooms beyond.  There is a physical quality to this, creating almost a model effect where you lean in closer to see even more.  The illustrations are a delight and truly bring the structures to life.

When I first started reading this book, I wondered who would be the audience for it.  The entire book is so appealing that it will have no trouble being enjoyed by young readers interested in architecture, history, or travel.  Appropriate for ages 8-10.

Reviewed from library copy.