Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Jessixa and Aaron Bagley
Illustrator: Jessica and Aaron Bagley
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Vincent the cat has never been home. He leads a life of adventure sailing all around the world on the cargo ship where he lives. Though the list of destinations he has seen is impressive and enviable, what he really wants is to experience this “home” he hears so many of the sailors refer to with great excitement. The ship docks and Vincent leaves the ship to discover a city, which at first glance is completely underwhelming. As he wonders what the sailors see in this “home” that makes it so great, he notices that one by one the men enter buildings filled with smiling, happy people to greet them, all who seem excited by their return. Just as Vincent is starting to understand that home is more of a feeling than a specific place, the captain finds Vincent and announces that he intends to take Vincent home.
Vincent Comes Home makes an important point that will perhaps be best appreciated by older preschoolers and young primary age audiences. A comforting message is developed that home is where love and companionship are instead of a specific location in the world. The book’s pen and watercolor illustrations in a somewhat subdued color palate complement the book’s overarching theme of peaceful happiness in being with one’s loved ones. The depictions of famous places from around the globe are fascinating and detailed, well-suited to children with some knowledge of various countries and destinations. The illustrations also reflect the diversity common in families today, and point to the fact that though these families are each unique, the feeling of home, peace, and happiness they create and facilitate is existent and universal in each of them.