Where I Live: Poems About My Home, My Street, and My Town

Where I Live: Poems About My Home, My Street, and My Town
Age Range
Release Date
March 14, 2023
Buy This Book
What is home? Revel in the ineffable sense of belonging in anthologist Paul B. Janeczko’s diverse selection of poems with sure appeal for children.

Home is shoes tucked under the bed while you sleep, or fancy-dancying at the neighborhood block party. It’s buttermilk biscuits and gospel music at the church picnic. It’s traffic lights and parked cars; rooftop views as far as you can see; ice cream trucks and yellow boots; sharing breakfast cereal and boiled eggs with your brothers; or running through sprinklers with water on your lips, dripping from eyelashes like fat raindrops. Whether we hang our hats in a walk-up apartment in the city, a farmhouse in the country, or any place in between, the poems in this collection celebrate the places where we live: our homes, our streets, our towns. Gathered by eminent poet and anthologist Paul B. Janeczko, these thirty-four inviting verses are paired with light-filled illustrations by Hyewon Yum evoking the warm details of daily life.

Editor review

1 review
Home Themed Poetry Collection
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
This is the last work of Janeczko, who edited many collections of poetry for middle grade and young adult readers and passed away in 2019. Ranging from well-known poets like Langston Hughes and Nikki Giovanni to lesser known artists (and throwing in a poem of his own!), these poems all highlight various concepts of what makes a home so comforting. Sometimes this is the house itself, like de la Mare's The Window or VanDerwater's Our Rooftop, and sometimes it is the people within it, like Wong's The Breakfast Boss, which is copyrighted 2012, but which seemed like it should have been written in the 1970s, since it talks about children who get breakfast for themselves with the help of an older neighbor girl after their mother goes to work! Out further into the world we see leaves in the park, pigeons, grocery stores, laundromats, a car wash, and lots of people.
Good Points
Since the poems are by a variety of writers, there are many different forms of poetry and styles of verse. Some poems, like Virgilio's Now the Swing is Still are just a handfull of words, while others have several stanzas and take up the entire page. There are about 30 poems in all, making this long enough to fulfill many poetry assignments!

Yum's illustrations, rendered in colored pencil and watercolor, have a warm yet airy feel that pairs well with the text. I loved the bright pastels, and there's plenty of detail on each page to spark conversations.

One of my favorite picture books is Burton's The Little House, so this collection poetry about home really spoke to me. Now, if I could just find the 1960s book about different architectural styles that I can't remember the title or author of! Yum also illustrated This Is Our House, and A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano is another book that is written in verse. Other titles about the meaning of home include Home is a Window by Stephanie Ledyard and A House Is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman, which expands the view of home beyond humans!

I loved that the poems are arranged in the same way that community is taught in schools and understood by children; home, street, and town.
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