A House That Once Was


Out to the side there’s a window that’s watching…’ Do we dare climb inside? ‘The House That Once Was‘ invites us to explore. Slowly, cautiously, we wonder ‘who ate beans for dinner/ who sat by this fire/ who looked in this mirror?’  It seems ‘The House That Once Was’ has been waiting for us. It offers clues to the lives lived here, to the sounds and pulse of love and attention.

Julie Fogliano and Lane Smith have created a perfect picture book. There is an almost temptingly, progressive text, with subtle rhyme and sensory language. Lane Smith’s time- mottled, over layered pictures, confirm a story concerned with the passing of time. ‘The House That Once Was’ is almost breathtakingly poignant and nostalgic. We love it. We recommend this title to readers of all ages.

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A House That Once Was

Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Lane Smith

(Two Hoots)

At the front of the house, the house that is waiting…’ Step by cautious step, we join the pair discovering an old house. We imagine the inhabitants and the life lived in ‘The House That Once Was‘. This is an exceptional picture book. Through progressive, repeated, rhyming text, and Lane Smith’s mottled, memory impressed illustrations, it is a ‘forever’ title to cherish.


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