September 23, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

This House, Once by Deborah Freedman | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarFREEDMAN, Deborah. This House, Once. illus. by Deborah Freedman. 40p. S. & S./Atheneum. Feb. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481442848.

thishouseoncePreS-Gr 2 –In a story that’s more poetic than technical, select pieces of a home are highlighted to emphasize the idea that a house remembers. A domicile is constructed with natural elements that began as something much different. “This door was once a colossal oak tree about three hugs around and as high as the blue.” The images start simply, with mostly white space and three or four lines of prose. The next spread illustrates the previous page’s text with softly muted blues, purples, and oranges and lightly placed lines. This pattern continues until the middle of the book, where the visuals and text combine. The pages become more crowded and rich with color, proclaiming that a house remembers and bringing the tale full circle with the conclusive phrase, “which once was an oak.” If readers look closely, they will also notice a cute kitten and/or a bright contrasting red doorknob in most of the illustrations and a change in seasons. Freedman has created a cozy offering to share that will spark curiosity. Conversations centered on questions such as, “How was our house made?,” “Where did the various materials come from?,” and “What function does it serve?” between a caregiver and child will carry on the ideas presented in this title long after it has been set down. VERDICT A lovely, ruminative selection, best shared one-on-one or in a small group setting.–Mindy Hiatt, Salt Lake County Library Services

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2017 issue.

Share
Day of Dialog | Brooklyn
Coinciding with Brooklyn Book Festival, this special-engagement event on September 15 will feature both Festival and metropolitan-area authors with panels modeled on Library Journal and School Library Journal’s long-running and annually sold-out Day of Dialog events. Get the inside scoop on the hottest new books—plus book giveaways and author signings!
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*