The house, the subject of this tale, tells its own story over the years, in Lewis's carefully crafted, appropriate quatrains.
After an introduction to its years from its construction in 1656 and its subsequent habitation and destruction, the story itself begins when children rediscover it in 1900.
A dated vignette appears on the page across from the poem; following this is a textless double page illustration filled with the myriad details of the activities surrounding the house at that date.
As the years pass we see the establishment of a vineyard, the celebration of a wedding, a wartime death, farm activities, a departure, a funeral, physical deterioration of the house, and a final modernisation. Through all the times shown, the view of the house and the area around it remains the same.
On three double pages, Innocenti creates detailed worlds peopled with honest folk going about their mundane tasks. The terraces by the house act as mini-stages upon which the historical events take place.
The artist recreates the changing times, clothing, agriculture, along with the condition of the house. Each double page scene offers a vivid visual representation with different emotional content. The paper jacket reproduces one of the scenes inside, while the cover has an elegant cloth spine and just the title scripted across the front.
About the Author
J. Patrick Lewis spent years as an economics professor before finding his passion as a writer. He is today known as one of America's preeminent children's authors, with more than sixty picture books to his credit. He lives in Westerville, Ohio.
About the Illustrator
Roberto Innocenti is a self taught artist who has earn worldwide acclaim with such pictures books as Nutcracker , Rose Blanche , Eirka's Story and The Adventures of Pinocchio . In 2008, he was warded he prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award for his contributions to children's literature. He lives in Florence, Italy.
For Ages: 9 - 12 years old
For Grades: 3 - 4
Number Of Pages: 64
Published: 1st September 2009
Dimensions (cm): 1.905 x 24.13 x 32.385
Weight (kg): 0.771