Two Places To Call Home by Phil Earle

The Blurb On The Back:

Florrie has two of everything.

Two lovely brothers …

Two smashing parents …

And two very cuddled pets.

But two isn’t always a magic number.  Florrie now has to life in TWO different homes: one with her mum and one with her dad.

An uplifting picture book helping children to embrace change and discuss their feelings around separation and divorce

TWO PLACES TO CALL HOME was released in the United Kingdom on 16th February 2023.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order TWO PLACES TO CALL HOME by Phil Earle from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Florrie has two homes: one with her mum and one with her dad.  But Florrie doesn’t like it – she doesn’t feel brave enough to live in two different houses and each time she has to go to the other parent, she feels worried.  Fortunately her parents know just how she can find her courage to move between them …

Phil Earle’s sensitive and thoughtful picture book aims to help young readers deal with the emotional wrench of moving between parents when they separate.  Jess Rose’s illustrations are an absolute delight – I loved the way Florrie’s appearance has elements of her mum and dad and she gets across how much Florrie’s parents love her.  I think this is a great way of introducing a difficult topic for young readers and as such is worth a look.

The structure of the book is deceptively simple – Florrie feels anxious when she has to move between her mum and dad.  What makes it stand out is how each of her parents (who are shown as loving her very much) try to help give her the emotional resilience and courage to address it.  The adventures that each of her parents take her on and evocative and fun and I enjoyed how at the same time you see the “normal” activities that each parent does with her, e.g. cycling and baking.

Jess Rose’s illustrations are a superb complement to the text.  She draws out the fantastical element of the adventures but also shows through the illustrations how much each parent clearly loves Florrie and is trying to do their best for her to help her feel better.  I also enjoyed how you can see the resemblance between Florrie and each of her parents and there’s a neat little detail about Florrie in that her leggings are in different colours, which reinforces how she is split between two places.

If I had a quibble (and it is a very minor point), then it was that I read the book wondering why Florrie moved between her parents but her two brothers seemed to only live with her mum.  I get that this may be a blended family point and is very common and I suspect that younger readers may not pick up on it, but it was something that kept me wondering throughout the book.

That quibble aside, I think this is a great way of dealing with a difficult subject with your younger reader.  Earle is always a very thoughtful writer who knows how to get straight into the emotions and this picture book is no different.  His work here with Rose is right on the money and I think it’s well worth a look if you need to introduce the topic to your little one.  

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