Belonging By Jeannie Baker

 

Belonging book review

Belonging is another wordless picture story book and a Jeannie Baker masterpiece! We love this book so much we even use it in one of our Brilliant Box activities for Level 6.

Summary:

In typical Jeannie Baker style, the pictures in Belonging are created through collage. Every page of the book is a picture, as seen through the same window, looking out over a yard and a suburban streetscape. The window ledge, surrounding walls and the yard tell the story of a girl, from her birth, through childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, to the birth of her own baby. Belonging is truly beautiful in so many ways.

Why I love it:

There are so many things to love about this book; like Journey (reviewed several weeks ago) I love that with a wordless book, it is up to the reader to seek out and tell the story as they see it. I love:

  • that every time I look at the pages I notice a little something more
  • the bitter-sweet passage of time and relating that to the way-too-fast growing up of my own children
  • the changes that take place in the neighbourhood in the background of each page, and, as someone with indisputable levels of OCD
  • the symmetry of the story, the bookends of births.

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Time
  • Belonging
  • Development (land and people)
  • Progress
  • Growing up
  • Stages of life
  • The circle of life

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:

  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Look closely at the cover, what do you notice about the way the picture is made?
  • How many people can you see in the picture on the cover? (Hint: if you open the book up, the cover actually goes onto the back, too)
  • How many animals can you see?
  • There’s someone on one of the rooftops; what are they doing?
  • Why do you think this book is called ‘Belonging’?
  • Is this a book you are interested in reading? Why/Why not?

After reading:

  • Did you enjoy this book? Why/Why not?
  • What did this book not have that most books do have?
  • Did you like the pictures? How do you think they were made?
  • Now that we’ve read it, why do you think the book is called ‘Belonging’?
  • Where do you feel as though you belong?
  • Which is your favourite page in the book? Why?
  • How does the street and the surrounding neighbourhood change from the start of the book to the end?
  • Which is better, do you think? The way the neighbourhood is in the beginning, or the end? Why?
  • What is the girl’s name?
  • How old is she when she likes fairies?
  • How old is she when she gets married?
  • What are you looking forward to about growing older?

Never miss a freebie!

Like a little brilliance in your inbox?
Sign up here to receive a free weekly planner printable.
(That's just the start of the free goodies - our subscribers are the first to receive our brilliant activity ideas for fun family time!)


Powered by ConvertKit