Creaky Old House: A Topsy-Turvy Tale of a Real Fixer-Upper by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Michael Chesworth
A large family lives happily together in a big old house despite its creaking, leaking and cracks. Everyone has their own favorite spots in the house that they treasure. But one day, Pa heads out the front door and the doorknob comes off in his hand. They find a screw, but it doesn’t fit. So they head to the hardware store where they eventually find a doorknob to replace the old one. But it doesn’t fit. So they have to replace the entire door. The new door though is too wide for the existing hole. So everyone’s minds start to race, mentally repairing all of the house, moving the kitchen, lengthening halls. They finally come up with a favorite design, until everything is solved by the smallest child and they realize that their beloved house is still just fine the way it always has been.
The pleasure of this book two-fold. It is in the family. This large family of different personalities who all live together happily in one big home. A family that dreams big dreams, but returns to loving what they always have. It is also in the house itself with its colorful front door, winding staircase, dark attic, nooks and crannies.
Ashman has written a book with a great sense of place, a wonderful romping pace, and nice humor. Chesworth’s illustrations bring the family and house to life, especially in the cross-sections of the house that reveal so much to appreciate within its walls.
A charming story of a tight-knit family and their aging house, this book will have readers wishing wistfully for their own Victorian. Appropriate for ages 3-6.
Reviewed from library copy.