This book is wonderful. It’s beautifully poignant and genius in its simplicity. And the illustrations are irrisistible. My little man, 4, asks for it every night and his sisters, 8, put down their books to share this story with us too. It’s about a girl who has just moved to a new house, in a new town, with a new school. Her new house is old and battered, perfectly reflecting how she feels after such a big life event. But at the end of each week, as she comes home from school, she looks at the house and notices it changing. Slowly, it is being repaired and brought back to life.
The pictures are fantastic, with the old house renovated as we turn the pages. The reader is subtlety invited to seek out all the changes and we can’t help flicking back to check we’ve spotted them all. As time pases and the old house is renewed, we see small changes in the girl too. And my kids have learnt the subtleties of words such as plodded, mooched and wandered. And then there’s the story of a bird in the pictures too. It’s just magic. Oh, and the tree. And there’s meaningful, pretty endpapers too.
This is a great book for discussing change with kids and also a lovely story to snuggle up with.
Through the Gate is written and illustrated by Aussie Sally Fawcett, published by EK Books.
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