The Lantern House

Little, Brown. May 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316379601.
PreS-Gr 3–If these walls could talk, they would be full of fascinating stories. This book beautifully tells the story of one house and the care and joy it provides for the families that inhabit it. The house bears witness to all of life’s major milestones—birth, first love, pets, marriage, aging. and death. It is a testament to all the memories that a family shares. The combination of poetic text and wistful illustration create a touching and nostalgic mood. The rhythm of the story—it carries readers along to eavesdrop on the pivotal moments of life—is soft and steady as time passes on. One night the lights that have always brightened the house do not come on and it remains dark for some time. Cobwebs appear and dust settles into the corners. The house begins to wonder about its next residents as it lays dormant and patiently waits to again be filled with love. At the outset, this book will remind some readers of Virginia Burton’s The Little House, with its quaint and sentimental feel. As the story progresses, more modern elements are included.
VERDICT Highlighting the joys of first experiences, the book is idealized and maybe not relatable to all audiences. Nevertheless, it’s comforting.

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