Review Blog

Mar 18 2016

Bella and the wandering house by Meg McKinlay

cover image

Ill. by Nicholas Schafer. Fremantle Press, 2015. ISBN 9781925162301
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Humour, Moving house, Grandparents. Bella steps off her verandah one morning just as she has always done, but this morning, unlike every other morning, she steps onto her mother's violets. The path is not in its usual place. Curious. She speaks to her grandfather about it and in his sea salt wisdom tells her to watch the stars as they will always tell her where she is. Each day she wakes and the house has moved again, not only a few paces further along but once to a lake, then to a dam.
Bella comes to see the legs the house grows in its attempts to find a suitable resting place, and when her parents tell her the house will be cut in half and transported back to where they came from, she develops an idea. After all her grandfather was a boatbuilder and has put a porthole in her bedroom window made from the last boat he built, complete with the board with the name of his last boat, so she realises what the house is looking for. All ends happily and Bella has learnt a lot about her grandfather, his boats, the difference between a house and a home, and living where you need to live.
This is a delightful story for all ages, full of wisdom and humour and displaying a delightful relationship between a girl and her grandfather. And all is wonderful illustrated giving a Magic Pudding effect to the house and its running away legs.
Fran Knight

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