The dynamic duo of Ezra Jack Keats Award-winning author Julie Fogliano and Caldecott Award-winning illustrator Lane Smith team up to tell a delightful story about a boy and a girl who explore an abandoned house and imagine who might have lived there in A House That Once Was .Read more...
The dynamic duo of Ezra Jack Keats Award-winning author Julie Fogliano and Caldecott Award-winning illustrator Lane Smith team up to tell a delightful story about a boy and a girl who explore an abandoned house and imagine who might have lived there in A House That Once Was.
Deep in the woods
is a house
just a house
that once was
but now isn't
Who lived in that house? Who walked down its hallways? Why did they leave it, and where did they go?
Two children set off to find the answers, piecing together clues found, books left behind, forgotten photos, discarded toys, and creating their own vision of those who came before.
"Accompanied by Lane's evocative art that suggests layers of history, Fogliano's story turns this childhood scenario into a radiant poem about the mysteries of other people and the wonderfulness of home." --New York Times
Two children encounter an abandoned house deep in the woods in this contemplative, enchanting story about memory and the places in between then and now.
Writing in rhythmic, fluid verse, Julie Fogliano brings us the inner thoughts of two children who discover a house at the top of a hill, “a house that was once painted blue.” The tone of A House That Once Was is one of mystery and wonder as the children tiptoe toward the house and creep inside. Fogliano’s attentive, evocative writing captures the spectral in-between state of the house and its effect on the children. A door is “closed, but not quite”; the children are “whispering mostly but not really speaking” as they enter; the person who once lived there is “gone but . . . still everywhere.” The children explore what remains in the home and, putting abundant imagination to use, what it tells them about who once lived there. In a series of six spreads, they imagine who that occupant could have been.
Lane Smith’s highly textured illustrations feature faded hues (with subtle pops of color) and more gestural shapes in the interior house spreads. The natural world outside of the home, as well as the spreads showing the imagined occupants, are more vividly colored and showcase bolder lines, as if the memories are sharper than the current moment. (A tiny note on the copyright page indicates that these “present-day” and “imagined” scenes are rendered in two different mediums.)
This is a story that will captivate its readers—much like the house captivates these curious children.