Review Blog

Dec 14 2016

The mountain who wanted to live in a house by Maurice Shadbolt

cover image

Ill. by Renee Haggo. Starfish Bay Children's Books, 2016. ISBN 9781760360030
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Humour. Mountains. Environment. Problem solving. As the mountain stares down at the people in the town, he is envious. People come to him to ski or have picnics, to climb and watch the birds in the trees, but he wants to be just like them and live in his own house where he would be protected from the cold and wind and ice and snow, and not be lonely. So one day with a yell, he begins to walk to the town. People become very anxious and drive away, or walk or paddle down the river. One boy, Thomas stands in front of the mountain to ask what he is doing, and finding that the mountain wants to live in a house, begins to discuss the problem with him.
He tells him about his mother sometimes washing his jumper only to find that it shrinks, so he heads off home for soap and water, but this doesn't work at all. Next he fetches a hammer and begins to chop bits off the mountain, but the mountain doesn't like this idea. At last the boy has a clever idea, and races back home to fetch his father to paint the mountain. In that way the mountain would fit into a house and be seen by everyone. So the mountain can stay where he is but also be in the house.
I really like this story of working together to find a solution to a problem. Readers could begin to discuss why things in the environment are where they are, and how we can protect them. They will enjoy the illustrations of the mountain's face peering out at the readers and could talk about how to go about painting a mountain scene. First published in New Zealand by Deep Creek Press in 2015.
Fran Knight

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