A Place I Truly Belong
A beautiful story of hope and acceptance told through the persona of a stuffed giraffe, Larry.
A much-loved toy, Larry is lost at the Zoo one day. A Zookeeper puts him up on a wall in the giraffe enclosure. Although he is safe, Larry knows he is different to the other giraffes and yearns for a place where he truly belongs. One Matariki something magical happens and Larry comes to life. His ensuing adventures highlight the different ways people feel at home, but Larry is still searching for a place where he truly belongs.
My Year 2 children loved this story and said their favourite part was the ending which made them feel happy. This story was born out of the author’s personal experience and brings with that the sense of strength and survival. All proceeds from the sale go to the 'I got your back pack charity' which supports families who have been affected by domestic violence.
It is supported with colourful illustrations including symbols like the koru that symbolise new life and new beginnings. Te Reo Maaori kupu are used effectively and meaningfully which adds to the uniqueness of this as a New Zealand picture book.
I would recommend this as a book to simply enjoy and let the feelings of hope and aroha.
Title: A Place I Truly Belong
Author: Anita Hinton
Illustrator: Michelle Euinton & Shaila Awadh
Publisher: Mary Egan Publishing
Date of Publication: November 2021
Ages: any age
Themes: Belonging, homelessness
Would this book work as a read aloud? Yes.
Is there a particular part of the country that it’s set in? New Zealand Zoo
Reviewer: Ange Birks, Classroom Teacher, Ōhinewai School, North Waikato
How are you recommending this book: Highly Recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Down at Bumbleton Zoo lived a giraffe named Larry.
You can buy this book here.