Home Author: Alex T. Smith Illustrator: Alex T. Smith
  • Receive Updates about Tiger Tales
  • Contribute Book Reviews
  • Leave Comments


Age Range: 3-7 years

Character Traits: Sharing, Cooperation

Publication Date: September 2011

BISAC: JUV039060, JUV039220

Pages: 32

Book Format Detail: Paperback with Spot Varnished Cover

Retail Price: $0.00

ISBN-13: 978-1-58925-433-6

ISBN-10: 1-58925-433-3

Dimensions: 9-3/4" x 10-3/4"

In a house that is a home live four best friends—One, Two, Three, and Four. They live happily ever after, until . . .  One wants to move to the sea and become a pirate. Two would rather live at the top of a mountain and yodel. Three wants to move into a cave and collect creepy-crawlies. And Four yearns to go to the big city and boogie-woogie all night long.
The friends can't agree on what to do, so they go their separate ways and take different parts of the house with them. When they're gone, all that's left is the roof! But they quickly realize . . . there's no place like home. 
A warm and humorously illustrated picture book that proves home is where the heart is!

Lexile: AD530

Friends One, Two, Three, and Four happily share a house that is a home, until, that is, they get the itch to go somewhere different. They can’t agree on where to go—to be pirates on the seven seas, or to collect creepy crawlies in a deep dark cave? Of course, they stomp off in four directions, each carrying a piece of the house with them. The results, of course, are less than satisfactory. Their new locations aren’t as exciting as they thought they’d be, and they miss each other. Something has to be done, and they find a way to make amends and make their home even better than before. The author’s illustrations of the animal friends’ adventures enliven the pages and the text has funny moments that beg for extra conversation: have you ever seen a badger boogie-woogie before? For ages three to seven. —Teresa Scollon


May/June 2010, ForeWord Magazine

Is it possible for a reindeer, bear, bunny, and badger to dismantle the house they've been sharing, go their separate ways, and find fulfillment? One (conveniently, the animals are named after numbers) wants to be a pirate, Two wants to yodel in the Alps, Three wants to collect insects underground, and Four wants to party. “If I'm going,” they all shout, “I'm taking the house with me!” Supplied with pieces of the house, each sets off, but trouble soon surfaces: One becomes a pirate, but ends up sailing alone on his old front door surrounded by sharks. “Worst of all, his house simply wasn't a home when it was just a door.” When inevitably the four give up and reunite, adding wheels to their house allows them to stay together while satisfying their wanderlust. Smith (Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero) keeps the story zipping along, effectively using repeating phrases, story elements, and scenarios. The pages teem with digitized colors, textures, and photos, but the overall atmosphere is quiltlike and cozy. It's a persuasive argument for finding creative solutions to problems instead of walking away. Ages 3–7.


February 15, 2010, Publishers Weekly

Four animal friends, named One (a deer), Two (a bear), Three (a bunny), and Four (a badger), share a house together until One decides that they should all take to the sea as pirates. Two, Three, and Four have different ideas, however, and the result is lots of arguing and the dismantling of the house as the four go their separate ways: “One took the door and stormed off to sea. Two took the walls and stomped off up a mountain. Three took the windows and scurried to a cave. Four picked up the floor and shuffled off to the big city.” Predictably, the friends’ experiences with solo life are disappointing and prompt them to reunite and to rebuild their joint home, adding wheels to enable the group to change location at will, this time together. The plot is rather thin and predictable, and One’s sudden desire for seafaring comes out of nowhere, operating largely as an excuse for the story’s direction. The essential message of friends learning to compromise is still a valuable one, though, and ther are touches of amusement in the animals (badger Four is unhappy with his reception at a big city party, where “it was as if they had never seen a badger boogie-woogie before!”). Smith’s digitally created art is lively and casual; multiple patterns and watercolor-like textures are layered to add energy and punch, but they occasionally lead to overly busy, unfocused compositions. Still, the four friends are cute as can be with their oversized heads, widely spaced eyes, and perpetually rosy cheeks, and the general effect is one of sunny cheerfulness. This might be a good addition to a house-themed storytime, or it could be used as a discussion starter about friendship and compromise. —JH


June 2010, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


Four friends live in a house that is their home. Friend one thinks they should all become pirates and sail the seas. Friend two wants to go to the mountains and yodel. Friend three wants to live in an underground cave and collect creepy crawlies. Friend four wants to go to the big city and boogie woogie all night long. Of course none of them agree with any of the others ideas and they go their separate ways. When they all leave they take apart of the house with them.

Of course, they all discover that the adventures they had were lacking the fun they thought they would have. They soon discovered that the pieces of the house they took simply did not make a home. They missed each other and got back together, each apologized for leaving. Best friends again, they put their home back together again, this time with wheels. This way they could travel to all of the fun places together.

These four friends are really funny. The illustrations bring to life their very unfortunate adventures when they are separated from each other. Kids will love to read this story over and over again.