The Old HouseThe Old House, by Pamela Duncan Edwards is a cute inspirational story of a semi-anthropomorphic house in danger of being torn-down and destroyed if it’s not sold. The dingy, broken-down wooden house has no family living it, and all passersby seem to have no interest in living there. The (also, semi-anthropomorphic) trees and wildflowers, as well as the animals try to encourage the house to keeps it’s hopes up and not get too depressed, but with little success, as they also fear that they may be destroyed along with the house.

The Old House is rated Renew It Again & Again!

Eventually a family arrives and seems interested. The family even comes back a second time, but doesn’t stay, only saddening the house even more. Little does the house know that this family has been back and forth with mortgage brokers, real-estate agents, lawyers, home-inspectors, and private contractors. The book ends when the family comes back (a few days) later, and turns the old house into their new home.

This story is a sweet story, and good one for families moving. Although it’s not directly related to a child’s sadness of leaving a home (or the nervousness of coming to a new one), it may distract the children into thinking about the actual house they’re going to be moving into and making their own. Henry Cole’s illustrations are comfortable, and the emotions evoked by the house (with sad eyes for windows, frowning stoop and door for a mouth) are rather well done. Occasional tears dripping from the window’s eyes really bring the old house to life. In perfect contrast, the people (even the family moving in), all have simple, plain, and relatively similar looks, making the character of the house stand out even more.

The Old House doesn’t quite give me chills at the end, but it comes very, very close.