Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Picture Book: Bella and Stella Come Home by Anika Denise

Summary of Bella and Stella Come Home:
Bella and Stella bid farewell to their home as they load up the truck to move to a new place.  Bella comforts Stella (a stuffed elephant) as they drive away and watch their former home getting smaller and smaller.  When they arrive at their new house, the girls immediately observe it doesn’t look anything like the old one.  It looks empty and feels spooky.  Their old kitchen was blue.  The new one is yellow.  Stella and Bella think kitchens should be blue.  As they look in the backyard, they recall their old garden had an oak tree.  The new garden only has shrubs and grass.  The girls believe every garden should have an oak tree.   Bella suggests they find their bedroom, but they are afraid to go up the stairs.  They hold hands as they creep up the stairs and find the right room.  There are no polka dot curtains or stars on the ceiling.   No bed.  No dresser.  No rug.  Just a box in the middle of the floor which contains a tea set.  To comfort Stella, Bella suggests they have some tea.  As they play, the bedroom furniture and toys are brought in.   Lying in bed that night, everything looks, feels, and sounds different.   It is too dark in the room with no stars on the ceiling, but with some extra lights on and some snuggling close together, Stella and Bella eventually fall asleep.   In the morning with the room decorate like their former one, it feels a little more like home.   When some neighbors come over to welcome them, Bella and Stella meet some new friends.  Making new friends and decorating the bedroom prompt Bella (and her counterpart Stella) to feel more comfortable and content with her new house. 

I chose Bella and Stella Come Home because it aptly conveys the emotions that many children feel when they move to a new home.  The illustrations depict a subtext, showing the anxiety felt by Bella during the move.  They also illuminate her imagination.  She often imagines Stella as a full grown elephant and projects her emotions onto her stuffed animal. This book is ideal for families who are moving or going through a transition.   Educators may use Bella and Stella Come Home to discuss fears, transitions, or comfort objects. 

Also Check Out:
I Like Where I Am (Jessica Harper)
Written in entertaining poetic form, a boy expresses his distress about moving away from his home, friends, and school.  Ultimately, he learns to enjoy his new home, friends, and school. 


  1. Awww...the title is adorable. Definitely makes me want to open and read!

  2. I agree, the title is adorable. The cover art even more so. :)


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