This House, Once by Deborah Freedman

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Summary:  The door was once a huge oak tree.  The stones were once underground.  The window was once sand that melted into glass.  A page of text and an illustration briefly explain where different parts of a house came from.  Each is followed by a two-page spread showing the materials in their original natural form.  A cat explores this outside world, meeting up with a bird, frog, turtle, and squirrel before coming back inside the cozy house.  The author’s note to readers tells about her New England home and asks, “Where do you live?  What was your home, once?”  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  The dreamy illustrations will get readers thinking about the building materials of their houses and how they connect to the natural world.

Cons:  Seemed like a cold night for the cat to be out of the house.

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