Review Blog

Feb 06 2018

One house for all by Inese Zandere, adapted by Lawrence Schimel

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Ill. by Juris Petraskevics. Book Island, 2018. ISBN 9781911496069
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Compromise. Consensus. Discussion. Friendship. Difference. Three friends, Crayfish, Raven and Horse are all grown up, having been the best of friends all of their lives. They wish to remain together, sharing their lives as they have done in the past. They all plan to marry and want a place together where their wives and families can reside as well. But they each have different needs. Crayfish draws a house with very wide doors, underwater. Horse wants a place that is three acres big with a living room made of thick juicy grass. Raven wants a place high in the tree tops.
They look at the three drawings and the horse says that he cannot fly to Raven's house, and Crayfish says he cannot live in a tree, while Raven says that he and his wife cannot live underwater. They each realise that they have only been thinking of their own needs and so put their heads together for a solution.
A wonderful tale of sharing opinions, of thinking of others when making decisions, of consensus, it has the feel of a fable in its tightly packed sentences, full of resonance.
Children will adore the solution reached and many will love to draw the house the three decide upon. The sparse text is beautifully rounded, making it easy for young children to read themselves or an older person read out loud. The illustrations are wonderful, quirky and colourful, very different, full of interest and thought. Children will spend a lot of time reading the illustrations while listening to the tale.
Fran Knight

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