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Pickle Me This

May 4, 2010

House Post 2

I’d been thinking about houses anyway, on account of Meghan Daum’s wonderful book, when I found this book at a yard sale for 50 cents on Saturday. A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Betty Fraser was published in 1978, and I can’t decide whether I like the text or pictures better. Never mind, they’re perfectly complementary.

The book starts off fairly tamely– a hill is a house for an ant, a hive a house for a bee, webs for spiders, and nests for birds, and then the refrain, “and a house is a house for me.” The story continues through various other abodes, returning to that house for me– which might be a treehouse, a fort under a tablecloth, a snow fort, or a huge cardboard box. But then things get a little bit crazy: “Perhaps I have started farfetching, perhaps I am stretching things some…”. Because a carton is a house for a cracker, a sandwich is a house for ham, a hat a house for a head. Because “once you get started in thinking, you think and you think and you think. How pockets are houses for pennies, And pens can be house for ink.”

The illustrations are to get lost in, managing to be both exploding and detailled at the very same time. Full of secrets, jokes, and delightful things, and flowing right off of the page. I love the be-spectacled duchess, in bed with her knitting, her books and her banjo. And yes, the tea page, which was created with the sole purpose of thrilling me, I think.

“A box is a house for a teabag. A teapot’s a house for some tea. If you pour me a cup and I drink it all up, Then the teahouse will turn into me.”

3 thoughts on “House Post 2”

  1. Susan Telfer says:

    Have you heard Fred Penner’s sung version of this book? I know it inside out from when my kids were little.

  2. This was hands-down one of my favourite books as a kid! I read it to Maggie now and have three times the appreciation for how musical it is!

  3. Melwyk says:

    This is such a wonderful book! So glad you found it (especially the tea page)

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