A House that Once Was

Author:
Julie Fogliano
Illustrator:
Lane Smith
Published by:
Roaring Brook Press
Suitable for ages:
5
to
10
ISBN:
978-1626723146

The best thing about this picture book is its theme. Indeed I do not think I have ever read another childnren's book that explores the same topic. The story looks at the mystery and wonder that surrounds an abandoned house.

Two children find an abandoned cabin in the woods and climb into it. They wish to explore the space, and they wonder who has lived in the house in the past and why they left. Subtly, the book manages to bring forth the wonderfulness and importance of human lives. It shows the movement of time and history, the sadness as well as the beauty of that, and the resonance that people leave behind them. The book has a mild haunting feeling, one that is appropriate for a book dealing with such big topic.

The story is written in simple rhyme. The illustrations are not my absolute favourite but they were made with love. You might say that this is an illustrated children's poem about the awesomeness of 'people in time'. It gives, if you like, a person-centred experience of time passing that touches the human soul.

A simple, and yet a powerful book.

If you would like to buy this book and support this site at the same time, you can buy it here.
death, time

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