Home is where the heart is – A Book Review

As the season is changing and the temperatures are dipping, I sat pondering the question put up for all of us therapists– ‘What do community and belonging look like?’

As usual, the book lover in me looks for books on the topic, and I was pointed toward this one called – Home is where the heart is by Johnny Lambert. I was instantly attracted to the warm colours and illustrations of this picture book.

When Bear moves into a new home in the woods, his home feels empty, and Bear is a little bit lonely. With a RAT-A-TAT-TAT! on his neighbour’s door, Bear quickly finds a warm smile and friendship with Hare. When a storm CRASHES through the wood, destroying Bear’s home, the two friends discover that home is more than just a house . . . it’s where the heart is.

The book tells the story of Bear, and Hare and the development of their relationship as they discover what they need to create a happy home. It’s a heartwarming story that charts the ups and downs of their friendship through unpretentious text and splendid illustrations.

The question that both intrigued me and made me smile was can the two learn to live together, even though they’re very different, and still be best friends?

Exploring the true meaning of belonging, this book is the perfect introduction to the joys and complexities of friendship. Hare is older and doesn’t keep his house clean, while Bear is young and very neat. But the two become best friends. They explore the woods, have picnics, and tell stories by the fire. Over time, this proves to be a challenge to their friendship because they’re so different. But, can they learn to live together and still be best friends?

The ending of the book is also the perfect answer to the question I was sitting with when I opened this book. So, what do community and belonging look like when we are completely different from each other? Can we still belong? Do we all have to look and behave in the same manner to belong in a community? Do we really have to like each other or be best friends to be part of a community? Can there be space for all of us as we bring our authentic and eccentric selves and still feel like we belong?

I also found some answers for this when I look around at the beautiful community at Pause (especially – Pause Library) and yet somehow always feel at home and know that I belong here.


Sammy Sahni