Fogliano, Julie. A House That Once Was. Illustrated by Lane Smith. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2018.
Two children come upon a deserted house. They do what any curious child would do – they climb through the window. There are pictures on the wall, beds are made, and books waiting to be read. Who lived in this house? The children brainstorm about who could have lived in this house and what could have happened to them. A House That Once Was would make a great story starter for a upper elementary writing lesson. Julie Fogliano has chosen a topic for her text that will appeal to children. Who hasn’t been curious about an abandoned house and the story behind it?
Lane Smith used a variety of techniques in his art work for this picture book – some of which could be reproduced in a classroom or home setting. Some of it looks like sponge painting. Others look as though he used a scraper to make lines in the paint. Much of it has a collage look to it. He used India ink, watercolor paper, oil paints. He scanned his work and digitally edited it.
I really like all the educational spin offs that A House That Once Was provides. It would be a great addition to any library.
I will be including this title in my annual Mock Caldecott unit. We’ll see later this fall what the students think of it.
A House That Once Was is available from Amazon. Thanks for using my affiliate link – doing so will not cost you any more, but will help support this children’s literature blog.