The Old House

Overview


An old house gets a new lease on life when the right family comes along.

The old house is lonely because it has been empty for so long. Its droopy shutters and sagging porch discourage buyers?until a certain family stops by. While the children see lots of potential for good times, the parents see lots of work ahead. Will the house pull itself together in time to impress the new family?

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Overview


An old house gets a new lease on life when the right family comes along.

The old house is lonely because it has been empty for so long. Its droopy shutters and sagging porch discourage buyers?until a certain family stops by. While the children see lots of potential for good times, the parents see lots of work ahead. Will the house pull itself together in time to impress the new family?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A lonely old house is depressed when nobody wants to buy it, despite the efforts of its friends the old oak tree, birds, squirrels, and flowers. Finally, a young family begins to see possibilities in the house. Encouraged by its friends, the house tries to stand tall and look good. To the pleasant surprise of all, instead of a bulldozer, the family arrives in a moving van. Each member of the family works hard to make the house feel young again, “filled with laughter and love.” Cole subtly gives both house and tree real personalities in his naturalistic watercolors as he visualizes the hopes and interactions with the family. The porch of the house droops with sadness like a mouth; the windows express fear like eyes, as the arrival of a bulldozer is imagined. The view of the house and family on the last page is a tribute to the power of love. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2 A ramshackle old house droops sadly as it waits for new owners to make it their own. Perspective buyers look at it but see only its flaws, and the old house is convinced that no one will choose it. Despite cheering from the birds that nest in its gutters, the wildflowers that grow in its yard, and the squirrel that hides its nuts there, the dwelling remains forlorn. When a young family begins to show interest, the house shifts its perspective from worrying about itself to worrying about providing for its possible inhabitants. All ends well as the family moves into their new home, fixes it up, and fills it with laughter. Edwards's colloquial text is accessible for young readers to tackle on their own and would make a lively read-aloud. Cole's energetic cartoon-style artwork gives oodles of personality to this house waiting to shine. His use of varied perspectives keeps the otherwise static building both vibrant and interesting. More than a story of an abandoned abode, this tale will resonate with all children who have felt left out at one time or another.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

Kirkus Reviews
Will it be new residents or demolition for the lonely old house? A "For Sale" sign has stood out front so long that the windows droop unhappily. Passersby muse that it needs to be knocked down. But a family of five stops by and seems interested. Hope is rekindled. The squirrels and birds and the big leafy tree advise the old house to stand up straight and twinkle its windows. The family lingers, with the boy imagining a tire swing hanging from the tree and the girl clearing the tall grass that blocks the flowers. Still, Dad's final words are, "It needs a lot of work." Early the next morning, the old house is distressed to hear a bulldozer in the distance. But no! It's the family in their big rented truck. In no time, TLC creates a happy home. Cole's watercolors, which humanize the house and tree, add a playful element. Offbeat and appealing. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142414804
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/12/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 401,390
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Pamela Duncan Edwards lives in Virginia.

Henry Cole lives in Wilton Manors, Florida.

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