A House in the Woods

Overview

It's nice to have your friends move in, but. . . . A sweet, wry tale of cooperation and camaraderie, told with pastoral artwork by Inga Moore.

One little pig has made a little den for herself in the woods, and another little pig has a small hut next door. One morning they return from a walk to find that their big friend Bear has moved into the den and an even larger Moose into the hut. CRASH! With both homes collapsed, they're all in a pickle—but what if they find a way to build...

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Overview

It's nice to have your friends move in, but. . . . A sweet, wry tale of cooperation and camaraderie, told with pastoral artwork by Inga Moore.

One little pig has made a little den for herself in the woods, and another little pig has a small hut next door. One morning they return from a walk to find that their big friend Bear has moved into the den and an even larger Moose into the hut. CRASH! With both homes collapsed, they're all in a pickle—but what if they find a way to build a house in the woods that all four of them can share? With lush, whimsically detailed illustrations and a cast of endearing, industrious (and most accommodating!) characters, Inga Moore constructs an inviting story of friendship that kids will be happy to visit awhile.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As with her illustrations for The Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden, Moore’s artwork for this appealing book has a timeless quality. Her pictures—finely detailed, yet hazy and atmospheric—depict an inviting woodland setting and express the personalities of a group of animal friends who become an unlikely family. Two pigs don’t mind when Bear and Moose move into their cozy homes, though both are quickly destroyed due to the animals’ size. Now all four creatures are homeless, a predicament Moore describes with the droll understatement that runs through the narrative: “This was a pickle. It really was.” Suggesting they build a proper house for them all, Moose (using a phone attached to a tree) calls the Beaver Builders, who arrive in pickup trucks and wearing hardhats. Moore makes every word count, as the industrious Beavers, aided by the future residents, build an inviting cottage. One can almost get lost in the full-bleed pages and spreads, many of which are wordless, evoking the peacefulness of the forest and the warmth of the animals’ relationship. A charming tale that underscores the rewards of cooperation. Ages 3–up. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Moore's simple text is sprightly and inviting, with exclamations and asides that make the audience feel present and included. Her elegant yet cozily rustic illustrations are particularly effective, with delicate shading and crosshatching adding rich but subtle textures. The kind of kids who love to make forts and playhouses in the backyard or living room will find this especially appealing. This would work equally well for bedtime reading or group storytime; either way, youngsters (and their adults) will enjoy spending some time in this pleasant woodsy world.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

Moore's artwork for this appealing book has a timeless quality. Her pictures depict an inviting woodland setting and express the personalities of a group of animal friends who become an unlikely family. One can almost get lost in the full-bleed pages and spreads, many of which are wordless, evoking the peacefulness of the forest and the warmth of the animals' relationship. A charming tale that underscores the rewards of cooperation.
—Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
When two pig friends return from a walk one day, the first Little Pig finds that Bear has moved into her den. And, "...oh, dear!" he is so big that the den is wrecked. A moose has taken over the second Little Pig's hut, and being also too big, has brought it down with a crash. The animals decide to build a house big enough for them all to share. They call a team of Beaver Builders on the phone (!) to help them, agreeing to pay in peanut-butter sandwiches. We watch the work advance across double pages, related in terse text. The house finished and furnished, they get to the store in time to buy the peanut-butter and bread and to deliver the sandwiches to the beavers back in their lodge. Tired, they then go peacefully to bed in their beautiful new home. The charming fantasy ends with, "Sweet dreams, everyone!" Moore uses pencil, pastel, and wash to create an almost mystical anthropomorphic forest world populated by very appealing naturalistic animals. The scenes of the building of the house are replete with details enhanced by a misty overall environment. They message of the joy of cooperation is clear. Don't pass by the intriguing end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—When Moose and Bear accidentally destroy their pig friends' modest digs, the foursome decide to bring in the local beaver construction crew to build a house they can all share. For the price of peanut-butter sandwiches, the crew agrees to the work. The cozy cottage is quickly built and furnished by the friends, who do indeed pay in sandwiches. After a supper and evening of storytelling, the four settle into their new home. The gentle arc of the story about a warm friendship is perfectly echoed by the large, detailed illustrations. The pencil, pastel, and wash art is full of autumn colors and delicate touches and details that bring the woods and the animals to life. Budding builders and tool fiends will enjoy the house assembly and the humorous elements within the illustrations. A comfortable story of friendship.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Everybody needs a house that's just right. One Little Pig has a hut made out of sticks; it resembles a tepee. Next door, another Little Pig has a den; it's a hollow dug into some thick shrubbery. One morning, they go out foraging together; one finds a nice feather and the other an interesting stick. But when they get back home, they find Bear jammed into the den and Moose perched on top of the hut. Both are ruined! The new quartet of forest friends sits down together on a bench to figure a way out of this pickle. What if they all lived together in one big house? Moose calls the Beavers on the telephone (which is handily attached to a tree), and in no time the forest is turned into a construction site, with dozens of beavers in hard hats working alongside the housemates-to-be. They divide up the work and finish quickly, filling the house with furniture and curtains from the junkyard. What else is there left to do but throw a party for the Beavers? Moore's illustrations—in pencil, pastel and wash—picture the animals realistically (though on two legs and with expressively human body language) and have a warm cast, full of earth tones. They do the heavy lifting in telling the simple story of unlikely friendship and the virtue of industry. Modest and nicely quirky. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763652777
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 280,554
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 11.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Inga Moore is a distinguished author and illustrator of children's books whose illustrated titles include acclaimed versions of THE SECRET GARDEN and THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. She lives in England.

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