Moving House

Overview

The fog in Foggytown was so thick that people bumped into parking meters . . . and streetlamps . . . and each other!

 

So Joey and Chloe's parents decide it's time to move. But Joey and Chloe love their house. And as it turns out, their house loves them . . . and has a very special and utterly fantastic way of taking matters into its own hands.

 

Comic- and picture-book star Mark Siegel has spun a delightful and compelling fantasy for...

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Overview

The fog in Foggytown was so thick that people bumped into parking meters . . . and streetlamps . . . and each other!

 

So Joey and Chloe's parents decide it's time to move. But Joey and Chloe love their house. And as it turns out, their house loves them . . . and has a very special and utterly fantastic way of taking matters into its own hands.

 

Comic- and picture-book star Mark Siegel has spun a delightful and compelling fantasy for young picture book readers, illustrated in a unique style that combines elements of traditional picture book, comic, and animation art.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Foggytown—rendered evocatively in misty gray panels—used to be nice, "before the factory"; now no one can see the stars anymore. Chloe and Joey's father and mother plan to move away, but the children, who love their house, with its warm spot in the kitchen and its "long vrooming hallway," wish the house could go with them. In the middle of the night, the house—drawn with spindly arms and legs and a concerned expression—"wiggled and jiggled, and everything went whoa this way and whoa that way." "Hang on tight, little people!" the house says lovingly as it takes them up through the fog to see the stars. In his authorial debut, Siegel's (Boogie Knights) background as an illustrator (and an editor) serve him well; his vignettes and spreads are drafted in clean ink lines, with watercolor washes of blue and red signaling the clean skies above Foggytown. He's crafted a strong story, too, one in which the environmental theme figures largely, but doesn't overpower its greatest draw—the victory of Chloe and Joey's dreams over their parents' "sensible" plans. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“The title of Mark Siegel’s ‘Moving House’ contains its own morsel of verbal wit, with a double meaning that winks at the fanciful plot.” —New York Times

 

“Both whimsical and meaningful, it speaks to a child’s powerful attachment to home.” —Booklist

 

"In his authorial debut, Siegel's (Boogie Knights) background as an illustrator (and an editor) serve him well; his vignettes and spreads are drafted in clean ink lines, with watercolor washes of blue and red signaling the clean skies above Foggytown.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—"The fog in Foggytown was so thick that people bumped into parking meters. And streetlamps. And each other." Siegel uses richly textured charcoals to evoke a town overshadowed by the tall smokestacks of a factory. But the overpowering pollution isn't the focus of the plot; instead, it's the fact that Joey and Chloe have never seen the stars, and that their parents are so fed up with the fog that they decide—against their youngsters' objections—to move. The artwork becomes more colorful and kinetic as the artist portrays the children's special rooms, spaces, and memories, as well as the house itself, which tilts, wiggles, jiggles, and trots up the hillside, until it "popped out of the fog." Finally, the youngsters have their first views of the deep blue, gold-flecked night sky. While the text at this point gets muddled with conversations among the town's buildings and lampposts, what's happening—accompanied by delightful illustrations—is that all the structures are migrating uphill. In the morning, Joey, Chloe, and their parents peek outside and find themselves above the clouds where they can see for miles. It's disappointing that the town's pollution, which jump-starts the action, is only important here insofar as it affects the view. The issue of having to leave behind a familiar home is likewise avoided in favor of a more whimsical plot. The pictures are varied and evocative, and the affectionate relationship between the children and their house forms the tender core of this wobbly story.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews

This contemporary eco-fable suffers from a lack of internal logic, but the positive message and attractive retro artwork may still find favor with progressive parents.

Joey and Chloe, two round-eyed, round-headed tykes, arrive home one day to find their parents packing. The fog in Foggytown, they say, has gotten too thick, and it's time to move. Unhappy at the prospect of leaving their beloved home, Chloe and Joey both wish that the house could come with them—and, in a surreal sequence, it does. The house's friends, including the schoolhouse, library and a row of friendly streetlights come along.The animated house is a particularly appealing character with black arms and legs and bright-red paint that stands out well against the generally grey and blue backgrounds. Siegel's artwork varies from smoky sepia-toned silhouettes to crisply drawn vignettes to cartoon-style full-color double-page spreads. The text, while lengthy and occasionally didactic, has a pleasing flow and offers several lovely images, including "the warm spot on the kitchen floor where we drink our milks every morning" and the "long vrooming hallway." What's less effective is the characterization of the factory's output as "fog" rather than smog, the family's decision to move away from the problem not solve it and the arbitrariness of the house's sudden mobility.

A stronger message and more coherent magic would have made this charming story even more appealing. (Picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596436350
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,446,053
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Siegel was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grew up in France. He is the illustrator of To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, written by his wife, Siena Cherson Siegel, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book; Seadogs: An Epic Ocean Operetta, written by Lisa Wheeler, winner of the Texas Bluebonnet Award; and several other graphic novels and children's picture books. He lives in New York.

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