Little House


Juno’s Mum is leaving her with Grandpa while she goes to help ‘tiny children‘ who’ve ‘lost their homes. And their mothers. Their fathers. They’ve lost everything…’ 

However, Juno’s clinging on tightly. She doesn’t want to stay with Grandpa while the summer holds such promise as friends next door, ‘movie marathons‘ and ‘staying up until the sun starts to tip the sky into pink and yellow‘.

Although Grandpa is generous and welcoming with his eggs- cellent eggs and more, Juno’s hurting. Is it possible that the discovery of a Little House in Grandpa’s attic might offer hope? After all, doesn’t it need Juno’s love and attention? Her skills to mend and repair and make a home suitable for the abandoned little dolls? Then again, doesn’t Grandpa have a workshop where he works and invites Juno to work alongside him?

Bookwagon loves this warm, encouraging, empathetic novel. Little House is a story of our times, about giving, caring and sharing. We recommend Little House highly to all our readers.

Little House is formed in dyslexia-friendly format. 

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Little House

Katya Balen, illustrated by Richard Johnson

(Barrington Stoke)

Juno’s mother is leaving. She feels she must ‘go and save the world‘. However, Juno’s heart is breaking. After all, shouldn’t her mother want to stay with her and keep her safe? Instead, she’s staying with Grandpa who normally comes to stay with them. Grandpa makes the best breakfast eggs, but Juno doesn’t feel she can tell him this. In fact her heartache is so strong that she feels as though she will break. Therefore, she is silent and stays away from Grandad’s kindness. Instead she explores Grandpa’s home, and comes upon a Little House.
Katya Balen has a rare and gentle way of twisting readers’ hearts so that we are complicit with our characters’ feelings. It means that we long for Juno to take up Grandpa’s welcome. Thereafter, we’re keen to see her build upon her discovery, to work alongside her grandfather. Then again, we realise why Grandpa works in his shed crafting beautiful woodwork pieces. We listen, watch, reflect, learn and empathise. Don’t we do this with other works by this author, including Birdsong.
Little House is topical for we understand the community that might be left by those who step away to help in areas of disaster or conflict. Then again, we understand the symbolism of the little figures, furniture and furnishings that Juno finds and makes too. Altogether this is a tender, aware and perfect piece that Bookwagon loves and recommends highly to our readers.


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