If You Lived Here: Houses Of The World – Book Review

If You Lived Here: Houses of The World

by Giles Laroche

This is a great book to expose the kids to the different ways in which people live around the world.

The most unique  part about this book is that all the houses  are illustrated in bas-relief color collages. Another interesting fact about the houses was that all those still exist.

Each house has an illustration of real example of type of structure. The detailing that has gone into making the collages is amazing. We spent a lot of time admiring not just the house structure but the surrounding landscaping with nature, people, animals etc.

It also has a brief description of the interiors, the reason behind its design, information on material used, geographical location of these houses, dates of occupancy and some fascinating fact.

The list of houses include

  • Dogtrot  – Southern United States
  • Chalet  – Alps, Europe
  • Pueblo – Taos, New Mexico
  • Connected barn – Northeastern United States
  • Cave dwelling – Guadix, Andalucia, Spain
  • Palafitos (house on stilts) – Chiloe Island, Chile
  • Palazzo Dario – Venice, Italy
  • Chateau La Brede – Bordeaux, France
  • Fujian Tulou – Hangkeng village, Yongding, China
  • Half-timbered townhouses – Miltenberg am Main, Germany
  • White Towns – Astipalaia Island, Greece
  • Decorated houses of Ndebele – Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa
  • Yurt – Mongolia and other parts of central Asia.
  • Airstream trailer – Anywhere
  • Floating house – Middleburg, the Netherlands
  • Tree House – Anywhere

At the back of the book, there is also a map of the world where each of the examples can be found.

The only drawback that I see in this book is that of the 15 dwellings discussed 7 were found in Europe, 4 in North America , and the larger continents of Africa and Asia are under represented. Australia was left out completely.

Laroche’s writing is light and interesting. The illustrations along with the simple and short textual facts make this book good for kids of any age in K-6.

Overall a great book and can be a great supplement for culture study.

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