Goodbye House, Hello House

Allen & Unwin
ISBN: 9781743311103
The Book of the Year: Early Childhood 2020 Notable
The wonderful, inviting cover design depicts a child peeking out at readers from behind a door, with a vast, outdoor country landscape backdrop. The front endpapers continue this theme, showing a child looking out at the countryside, with stacks of boxes nearby. Concluding endpapers show the same child in a tree in what appears to be an urban scene, providing a satisfying resolution to this story of leaving one home to create another. The simple and concise text harmonises beautifully with the visually appealing illustrations. Using a combination of bold black and white line work for the foreground and coloured paint for the background the focus is placed on the main character, Emma. Subtle nuances of feelings are shown through Emma’s stance and body language cleverly illustrating the range of emotions portraying not sadness but excitement and looking forward. Readers can see she is a little hesitant and sad about the move, but then they see her embracing her new home with curiosity and excitement, all cleverly shown through the illustrations. It makes a great discussion starter about what it is that makes a home. A gentle, bittersweet story of moving on, incorporating themes of change, family, and home, and is pitched perfectly for the early childhood audience.