New picture book teaches children about homelessness

Nov 13, 2012, 10:30 ET from Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness

Ears Up, Ears Down, sixth in series of books on family homelessness and poverty, released during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week 2012

NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness today released Ears Up, Ears Down: A Dog's Journey Home, a picture book -- with a corresponding activity book -- about an adventurous dog named Ears Up, Ears Down, who becomes homeless after the junkyard where he lives is foreclosed upon. He spends a night with a family living in their car before arriving at a tent city full of men, women, and children, showing the different experiences of homeless families. Children in grades K-2 are invited to embark on a journey with the curious dog as he makes new friends, overcomes difficulties, and finally finds a place to call home. 


Ears Up, Ears Down is the sixth in the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness' series of children's books designed to introduce all school-age children to issues surrounding family homelessness and poverty. The series also helps homeless children identify and understand their struggles and the emotions they feel while homeless. Ears Up, Ears Down, written by Ralph da Costa Nunez with Margaret Menghini and illustrated by Madeline Gerstein Simon, is being released during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, November 10-18.

While most of ICPH's work is geared towards adults, the series of children's books, published in conjunction with White Tiger Press, is targeted to a young audience. "Last year, there were more than a million homeless students in schools throughout the country," says Nunez, who also serves as president and CEO of Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness. "Homelessness is a children's issue, and these books allow young students to learn about the struggles their classmates face."

While this is a difficult subject matter, Ears Up, Ears Down and its companion books have uplifting messages. "A lesson of Ears Up, Ears Down is that there is help out there for homeless families," says Menghini. "By learning about homelessness, the hope is that children will be part of the solution."

Ears Up, Ears Down story book ($4.95) and activity book ($1.95) can be purchased at or Amazon. Order now and get a free gift with purchase.

The Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness is an independent nonprofit research and policy analysis organization based in New York City. ICPH studies the impact of poverty on family and child well-being in order to improve public policies and programming at the local, state, and national levels.

For more information or to request free review copies of Ears Up, Ears Down, contact Linda Bazerjian (, 212-358-8086, ext. 1204) or Diana Scholl (, 212-358-8086 ext. 1223).

SOURCE Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness