Review Blog

May 08 2013

Somebody's house by Katrina Germein

cover image

Ill. by Anthea Stead. Walker Books, 2013. ISBN 978
(Age: 4+) Picture book. Families. Houses. Neighbourhood.With rhythmical flowing lines, Katrina Germein creates a refrain of 'Who do you think is inside?' on each double page, adding a level of mystery to her powerful introduction to the neighbourhood and the occupants of the houses in the long looping street at the bottom of the town. Each double page shows a different house, orange, green, yellow, blue and red with the following double page showing the people living inside and some of the things that they do. So the yellow house, for example, has a bright yellow exterior, with animals living in the branches of the tree outside, while inside we see yellow carpet and dad and the children, along with sheep and a cow. Children will love picking out the yellow things in this house, and watching the sheep knit a scarf from its wool, and wonder at the number of animals that reside in the yellow house. Each house is markedly different, underscoring the range of people and places that live in one neighbourhood, expressing the uniqueness as well as the similarities of all who reside there.
The illustrations entice the reader to look critically at each page, picking out the things offered by Anthea Stead, recognising everyday objects, and seeing some things anew, enjoying the hidden depths on each page as they read it again.
For any child the story is most satisfying, relishing in the warmth of the house that is theirs, knowing their neighbours and the street in which they live, learning their colours and the names of animals along the way. A treat to be shared.
Fran Knight

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