Take Shelter: At Home Around the World is a non-fiction description of the architectural living styles of people, reflecting the people’s cultures and their economic realities while paying homage to the inventiveness of humans to adapt accommodations to their particular environments. This book will introduce readers to peoples around the world from the depths of caves and sanitary systems below cities to the far reaches of space, and from the high Arctic to the southern pole. There are descriptions of the largest home in the world in Mumbai for a family of four to the tiniest cubicles in Japan for overnight visitors. You will also meet the people who own these homes. The elaborately decorated Vardos of the Romani people in Europe reflect their artistry and nomadic lifestyle, while the ice hotels of Canada and Scandinavia are temporary creations made from the environmental conditions of the seasons. Take Shelter uses a rich display of colour photographs to show the many materials used to construct homes. Peoples of Asia use furs and hides for walls while others build walls made of mud brick.
This is a great book to enhance the social studies and geography curriculum for the junior and intermediate divisions. Take Shelter offers a panoramic view of global living conditions while also showing the economic diversity of people as they strive to provide one of life’s most basic needs. As readers explore the plethora of homes available, they might be encouraged to go out in the backyard and invent their own new style homes. Maybe one day we might all be living in one of their new creations.
[Review by Kent Miller.]