house in the woods

A House in the Woods by Inga Moore

One pig had built a den for herself in the woods with another pig next door in a hut.  The two pigs went exploring in the woods and when they returned home, they found a bear and a moose in their homes.  Unfortunately, the spaces were not made for such large animals and both the den and the hut collapsed!  So the four animals talk about what they could do and decide to build a home where they all could live.  They had no idea where to start, so they called in the Beavers who only asked to be paid in peanut-butter sandwiches.  Everyone worked together to build a marvelous house and then worked together to get the sandwiches made for the Beavers.  In the end, they had a cozy warm home just right for the four friends together.

This book is so warm and cozy with an old-fashioned feel.  The story embraces a spirit of friendship and cooperation without ever being didactic about it.  Instead the lessons are woven directly into the story and shown, never told.  The tone of the tale is gentle and cheerful with small touches throughout that bring the story to life.  Here is the paragraph when the four friends are finally asleep in their own home:

Soon the only sounds to be heard were the soft cheeps of sleepy birds roosting in the rafters, the tiny rustling of wood mice in the fallen leaves outside, and, just now and then, the gentle snoring of Bear.

Moore’s art has the same warm, old-fashioned feel as the story.  The animals are individuals with interesting personalities, who each contribute differently to the project.  Through the entire work is a feel of nature and home.

This charming book is a joy to read aloud and will delight listeners.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by: