Review Blog

May 30 2014

A house for Donfinkle by Choechoe Brereton

cover image

Ill. by Wayne Harris. Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9781921720536.
(Age: 4-6) Warmly recommended. Building, Friendship, Humour. When Donfinkle wants to build a house of his own, he goes ahead and does it. His mud brick walls and brick porch, his wonderful uplifting door and beech windows are just what he wants.
But then friends come along with suggestions. They do not like what he has done and pick faults with his construction, making plans for other things to be added or changed. Flooble whines that his roof is too bare so to placate him, Donfinkle adds constructions to his roof. Then of course the walls are not strong enough, according to Flooble, so poor Donfinkle attaches string and grasses to the walls. Along comes Goozle with different ideas, He feels that there is no security and so Donfinkle adds thorns to his house to keep intruders away. But the next visitor, Blooble adds some bright paint. By this time however, the house is not anything like the house that Donfinkle built, and so he tells his friends that he will tear down all their additions so that it is just what he wants.
Shamefaced, his friends help him, and when all is finished come inside for a cup of tea by the fire.
A lovely tale of friendship, of doing what you want to do, using the offers from friends without allowing them to take over, the tale could be well used with siblings or with classes where standing on your own two feet is an issue amongst friends. But I am sure kids reading it by themselves or with a friend will get the message loud and clear and laugh out loud as well. The illustrations are superb, Harris has playfully depicted the friends as all sorts with bits of many different animals making up their appearances. Kids will love looking at all the different animals shown, and work out what they are, while reading the book out loud will enhance the music behind the rhyming stanzas and the rhythm of the names of the friends. A wholly satisfying read.
Fran Knight

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