This House, Once (Deborah Freedman)

Hello, everyone! Today’s book is This House, Once by Deborah Freedman, a dreamy exploration of the pieces of a home, and where things come from.

This door was once an oak tree, tall and strong and stretching to the sky. The stones of the foundation were once deep underground, and the bricks were once wet clay. Each piece of a house comes from somewhere and something in nature, elements being shaped and molded to fit together like the pieces of a puzzle. Then, once a house is a house, the dreams of its inhabitants make it a home.

This was a very peaceful, meditative sort of story that encourages children to think about where things come from, and how the pieces of our lives fit together to form the whole. The text begins matter-of-fact, moving toward the existential then back again, accompanied by hazy, serene art that creates a very soothing atmosphere. The length is just fine, and JJ enjoyed it, especially the addition of the animals throughout that follow the origins of the home’s materials. This would be a great one for a calming bedtime read, or just to encourage mindfulness and imagination in children about their own home. Baby Bookworm approved!

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