Hometown Elementary School

Oak Lawn, IL

Three reading rooms opened all on one day near Oak Lawn, Illinois, in the Oak Lawn-Hometown School District. Click here to read more about the opening day in our blog.

The “Under the Sea” theme as you glance about the room brings to mind a vacation from the cares of everyday life…


The welcome sign as you enter is painted in aqua blue on an 8” tall clamshell, and you face low shelving centered with the Carsons’ photo amidst shiny, colorful ceramic sea creatures on heavy fisherman’s nets that blends into the mural behind it. The mural painted by art teacher Natalie Evans has sea creatures that each class had a part in choosing…so there are 22.  And the front of the shelf boldly asks visitors to THINK BIG!  The brown carpet reminds you of the wet sand at the bottom of the ocean, while various shells and jellyfish decorate the walls, including some on stretched canvas squares that were painted by alums of the school.

A 2-foot tall seahorse lamp on a side table continues the sea theme between vacation-like upholstered chairs with teal curlicues on a white background near a 5-foot long kid-sized Adirondack bench.  To maximize seating, two brown futons set up as couches can convert to a larger flat surface and accommodate more readers around the perimeter.

hometown 2

Crawling on one bookshelf is a 5-foot long stuffed version of the hungry caterpillar.

Across from that one is a taller, 4-foot tall bookcase with a Terrarium on top, over which library patrons are drawn to look and view the happy readers!  Weaving amongst the books that are standing around the terrarium is a sea garland made of aqua-greenish crystals on clear poly-fibers accented with 2” white starfish. In the bookcase shelves are stuffed animals peeking out between books: Clifford the Big Red Dog, two Cats in the Hat, the mouse from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and other fun literary characters!


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