A House That Once Was (Hardcover)
Roaring Brook Press, 9781626723146, 48pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Summer 2018 Kids Indie Next List
— Billie Bloebaum, Third Street Books, McMinnville, OR
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The dynamic duo of Ezra Jack Keats Award–winning author Julie Fogliano and Caldecott Award–winning illustrator Lane Smith team up to tell a delightful story about a boy and a girl who explore an abandoned house and imagine who might have lived there in A House That Once Was.
Deep in the woods
is a house
just a house
that once was
but now isn’t
Who lived in that house? Who walked down its hallways? Why did they leave it, and where did they go?
Two children set off to find the answers, piecing together clues found, books left behind, forgotten photos, discarded toys, and creating their own vision of those who came before.
“Accompanied by Lane's evocative art that suggests layers of history, Fogliano's story turns this childhood scenario into a radiant poem about the mysteries of other people and the wonderfulness of home.” —New York Times
About the Author
Lane Smith has written and illustrated a bunch of stuff, including the Kate Greenaway Medalist There Is A Tribe of Kids, and A Perfect Day.
He is also the author of the middle-grade novel Return to Augie Hobble, as well as author and illustrator of Caldecott Honor book Grandpa Green and runaway New York Times bestseller It's a Book which has been translated into over twenty languages. His other works include the national bestsellers Madam President and John, Paul, George & Ben. His titles with Jon Scieszka have included the Caldecott Honor winner The Stinky Cheese Man; The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs; Math Curse; and Science Verse. Lane's other high profile titles include Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky; The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders; Big Plans by Bob Shea; and James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. In 1996, Lane served as Conceptual Designer on the Disney film version of James and the Giant Peach.
In 2012, the Eric Carle Museum named him a Carle Artist for "lifelong innovation in the field of children's picture books," and in 2014, he was awarded the lifetime achievement award from the Society of Illustrators. He lives in rural Connecticut with the designer Molly Leach.
Praise For A House That Once Was…
“Perfectly seamless; words and art are interwoven in a dance that enchants. Inventive and lovely.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A timeless feel and an outstanding picture book.” —Booklist, starred review
“A wizard of wordplay and a maestro of composition combine their considerable talents to explore the notion of home . . . Stirring to the eye and the spirit, this evocative book repays frequent readings.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“[A] lyrical meditation.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Imaginative and colorful.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“[A] rhythmic, read-aloud-perfect tale . . . poetic and visually striking.” —Horn Book
If You Want to See A Whale:
“Fogliano's words are carved and measured. This is a writer who takes her time, and the leaps she makes with language surprise and thrill.” —The New York Times
“A gorgeous love song to the imagination . . . It's breathtaking . . . Fans will be waiting.” —Booklist, starred review
“Readers will gape at the two enormous, whale-sized talents at work in this transfixing picture book.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
And Then It's Spring:
“In an understated and intimate partnership, Fogliano and Stead conjure late winter doldrums and the relief of spring's arrival, well worth the wait.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Many treasures lie buried within this endearing story, in which humor and anxious anticipation sprout alongside one another.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Fogliano's poetic yet grounded narrative is reminiscent of Charlotte Zolotow's picture-book texts in its understatement and straightforward, childlike observations.” —The Horn Book, starred review
“[Lane Smith's] illustrations, a blend of line drawings and sponge painting, have a classic feel, and make clever use of the topiary theme, rewarding close examination and repeated reading.” —The New Yorker
“Lush and magical.” —People
“An unassuming little masterpiece . . . The book's power lies in its rich, allusive artistry.” —New York Times Book Review
“It's a rare glimpse into Smith's softer side—as skillful as his more sly offerings, but crafted with honesty and heart.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Visually intriguing and emotionally resonant, this is a book to pore over and talk about.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Sketched with a finely lined fairy-tale wispiness and dominated by verdant green, the illustrations are not just creative but poignant.” —Booklist