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

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Review: Bella and the Wandering House

One morning, as Bella is leaving for school, she notices that her house doesn't seem to be quite where it was the night before. It hasn't moved a lot, but the front steps definitely aren't lining up with the footpath quite the way they used to.

She tries to point this out to her parents but they're very busy people. Her dad speed-reads the newspaper over breakfast while her mother rushes around worrying about how late she's running for work. They don't have time to stop and worry about Bella's silly imaginings.

At least Bella knows her grandfather will listen to her. He always has time for her. It was Grandad who built the perfect round window in her bedroom, and it's Grandad who always gives her unusual birthday presents that might 'come in handy' one day. And she always used to go sailing with Grandad and Grandma, until Grandma died and Grandad got rid of his boat.

Sure enough, Grandad doesn't tell Bella she's being silly. He simply listens and then tells her to keep an eye on the situation. And it's a good thing he does, because that night the house moves again. And the next night. And the next. Bella makes sure she's awake now and watches in amazement from her bedroom window as the house stands up, stretches its legs and sets off on a walk.

But what will happen when the house decides not to return home before morning? How will her parents react when they wake up and find they're not in the right spot? And what is the house looking for?

In Bella, Meg McKinlay has created an adventurous, observant heroine, perfectly equipped to unravel the reason behind her house's mysterious nocturnal wanderings. The result is a wonderfully imaginative story about family, belonging and what 'coming home' really means.

Title: Bella and the Wandering House
Author: Meg McKinlay
Illustrator: Nicholas Schafer
Publisher: Fremantle Press, $12.99 RRP
Publication Date: September 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925162301
For ages: 6+
Type: Junior Fiction

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