Published by Nancy Paulsen Books
Summary: Five children live in the ramble shamble house, taking care of the garden and chickens, apparently without any adult supervision. At night, they pile into the same bed, where Merra, the oldest girl, tells them stories. One day they find a book in the attic with a picture of a “proper home” and set about transforming their own house from ramble shamble to proper. But it doesn’t quite feel like home, and worst of all, baby Jory goes missing. Finding him helps them realize that ramble shamble is the perfect style for them, and they stay up late, enjoying the stars and celebrating their family. 32 pages; ages 3-8.
Pros: The Newbery-Caldecott team of Soontornvat and Castillo have created a fanciful tale of happy children enjoying their own home and life in a story that feels like a little bit of a throwback to the Boxcar Children era. Sure to spark kids’ imagination and have them imagining their own ramble shamble homes and families.
Cons: Happy childhood fantasy or dark post-apocalyptic dystopia?