The Thing at 52


The Thing at 52 has rugs made of newspaper and only one chair. He seems lonely. Might a neighbour be looking for a friend too? Thereafter, might the Thing come for tea, on outings and then enjoy sitting in the garden and listening to the radio? What’s more, what about other Things for it seems there are others in the world? Could it be that they might enjoy a party? Gravy drinks and dancing?

The Thing explains that ‘nothing lasts forever’ before he must leave. The child grieves, looking ‘at his old photos and remember[ing] adventures‘ they took ‘together‘. However, they provide solace, as does the family who move into his home.

Bookwagon is enthralled by The Thing at 52. Not only is it a beautiful picture book with precise and moving text from Ross Montgomery and idyllic pictures from Richard Johnson, but it’s a title to keep, love, share and treasure. We recommend The Thing at 52 highly.

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The Thing at 52

Ross Montgomery and Richard Johnson

(Frances Lincoln)

The Thing at 52 sits in his garden, or in his front room. Sometimes he’s at the shops. However, it seems he doesn’t have any friends. Could it be that he’d like some flowers? Then again, might he share his gravy?
It seems that within Thing’s house, there are ‘rugs made of newspaper‘ and only one chair, while his fridge holds ‘fifty jars of mustard‘ only. It’s when the pair begin to talk we realise their inner loneliness, after Thing’s suggestions that ‘All things are lonely sometimes‘.
Thereafter, what about visiting, some furniture, listening to the radio together, or maybe journeying to the seaside? Then again, what about other Things? Could they be gathered for a party where they might dance ’till midnight and dr[i]nk all the gravy’?
It seems as this friendship might last forever, yet ‘all things have to go sometime‘. Thereafter, it’s the pain of letting go, while treasuring the friendship that has built and flourished.
Like Ellie’s Dragon, The Thing at 52 is a dense, warm, glorious book about loneliness and friendship from Ross Montgomery and Richard Johnson. Bookwagon suggests that this is a picture book to linger over, read together, love and gift. We are awed by this title and recommend it highly.


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