Mr. Thatcher’s House

Sleeping Bear. Aug. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534111578.
K-Gr 2–When Mr. Thatcher, a rabbit, begins building a house, he strives for perfection, and his house keeps growing and growing. One day he answers a knock on his door. It’s a witch in search of a home, as her abode is no longer structurally sound due to children eating it. Mr. Thatcher protests that his home is far from perfect, but the witch moves right in while extolling its virtues (“You COULD add a few gumdrops, but it’s simply delightful the way it is.”). Soon there are more knocks as Mr. Thatcher’s other fairy-tale neighbors come seeking a new home: the three pigs (“no amount of huffing and puffing would blow it down!”); the three bears (“‘We have a serious breaking and entering problem,’ said Papa Bear”); and the woman who lived in a shoe with all her children (“‘MADAM! This house is a construction zone! I cannot allow children to run wild!’ cried Mr. Thatcher”). His house is soon filled with laughter, games, baking, music, and joy, “And it was perfect.” The hilarious text is perfectly matched with amusing and detailed illustrations that will reward careful readers. A variety in the text placement and scope of the illustrations keeps things lively. Wauson easily captures the juxtaposition of the contented guests—in a wide array of skin tones and abilities—with Mr. Thatcher’s annoyance then panic.
VERDICT This charming tale improves on the theme of what makes a house a home with some very familiar characters and one curmudgeonly rabbit. Sure to please all audiences with its humor and heart.

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