In Front of My House by Marianne Dubuc
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened this book. It’s not a normal picture book size, being rather square and short. But it was the length that threw me most of all. It’s much longer than most picture books, having the heft of a chapter book. But oh how I enjoyed this squat little book.
The book starts out on a hill under a tree with a house. In front of the house is a rosebush. On the rosebush is a little bird. Above the bird is a window. Head through the window, and the into the room, open the book of fairy tales and your journey really begins. This is a very engaging book with short sentences that bridge the page turn so that the next step of the story is hidden until you turn the page. It is a very simple concept, but one that mirrors a child’s imagination so closely that it reaches beyond that simplicity and becomes something more. One really never knows what is around that next page turn…
Dubuc keeps her sentences very basic, using only a single adjective at times and plenty of prepositional phrases. Her illustrations have the same simple approach with plenty of white space that allows the object itself to really be highlighted. The book design is exceptional. The words curve, blast, stand vertical like a tree, hang upside down. It is a dynamic book that is delightful to read.
This is a book that will inspire circular story telling in children and will work to get creative juices flowing. What other book has vampires, werewolves, a whale, a dragon, a bear, and a lost baby penguin? Appropriate for ages 3-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Kids Can Press.
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