'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 16 January 2012

Review: A House in the Woods

Two little pigs live in the woods, in crude little dwellings - a hut and a den. One day, the pigs go wandering and discover an interesting stick and a pretty feather. When they return to their dwellings, they see Bear and Moose have moved in to their homes!

Of course, Moose and Bear are BIG, so the little dwellings are smashed to smithereens, but the little pigs are unfazed. Whilst the friends sit and chat about the inadvertent destruction, Moose comes up with a brilliant idea ... why not build a proper house all four of them can live in?

Moose gets on the phone to the beaver patrol, and pretty soon, work starts in earnest on a rather impressive home ... but how on earth will the friends be able to afford to pay the builders? Not to worry, the beavers are happy to be paid in peanut butter sandwiches.

A classic-style picture book with a very simple tale of friendship - with no twists nor extraordinary plotting or surprises - Moore has set A House in the Woods apart by using a humorous and almost 'dry' tone that's a delight to read. She really effectively uses carefully posed questions and statements that children respond so well to - and her characters are charm personified.

But the highlight of this book - for me - are the stunning illustrations, filled to brimming with breathtaking landscapes and striking warmth and charm. I would have loved to read illustration notes on the work in this book, but shall have to sate myself with just ogling in wonder, instead.

A gorgeous book with a simple tale and luscious visuals, this is a rewarding book, although I would have liked to have known the relevance of the feather and the stick - I did find them on the bedheads of the pigs at the end of the book - but I wanted more!

Title: A House in the Woods
Author/Illustrator: Inga Moore
Publisher: Walker Books, $29.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 September 2011
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781406324327
For ages: 3 - 8
Type: Picture Book