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Book reviews

A House that Once Was

A House that Once Was

About the Book

Author: Julia Fogliano & Lane Smith

Age Range: 5-7 Years

Publisher: Macmillan

Price: £12.99


This evocative, rhyming story by American author Julie Fogliano tells the tale of two children who come across an abandoned house deep in the woods and begin to imagine who might have lived there.

The text is lyrical and great for reading aloud: ‘Inside the house it is silent but creaking / We’re whispering mostly but not really speaking.’

Children will enjoy pouring over Lane Smith’s gorgeous impressionistic images as we hunt for clues about who the previous inhabitants might have been and where they might have gone.

It will come as no surprise that Smith won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal last year, with previous recipients including Raymond Briggs, Shirley Hughes and Chris Riddell.

Use the book as a starting point to explore concepts of time, imagination and what home means, and enjoy pondering the ambiguous, open-ended conclusion with your class.

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