A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano

A House That Once Was

Deep in the woodsis a housejust a housethat once wasbut now isn’t a home.Who lived in that house? Who walked down its hallways? Why did they leave it, and where did they go?Two children set off to find the answers, piecing together clues found, books left behind, forgotten photos, discarded toys, and creating their own vision of those who came before.

Details A House That Once Was

TitleA House That Once Was
Release DateMay 1st, 2018
PublisherRoaring Brook Press
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Poetry, Fiction

Reviews A House That Once Was

  • Betsy
    When I was growing up there was an empty house across the street. A melancholy, haunted structure that seemed to wear its sadness like a badge. No one ever moved into it that I can recall, and the neighborhood kids would attempt to conjure up ghost stories to match its tired visage. I never went in it. Never even peeked in the window, though I longed to. To a kid, an abandoned house is better than a snow fort, a play structure, or a climbing tree...
  • Laura Harrison
    I loved Fogliano's slightly overlooked yet perfect, When Green Becomes Tomatoes. A House that Once Was is a lovely poetry book. Poignant, quiet, atmospheric. Many discussions can arise as to why the house is abandoned. Lavish, scrumptious illustrations by the magnificent Lane Smith.
  • Earl
    I can't wait to share this book. Such a beautiful read. The rhythmic text will be perfect for read-alouds and bedtimes. It both soothes and creates a sort of mystery. The art builds upon the story. I love reading the media and style used for this. This book is meant to read over and over again.
  • Leonard Kim
    I wish I liked this better. The first stanza/spread is a home run. What I am starting to think after this book and her previous couple (When's My Birthday? and Old Dog Baby Baby) is that Fogliano is a real poet whose work may not be best served broken up across the pages of a standard picture book. I think the longer poems in When Green Becomes Tomatoes that could have gotten the picture book treatment were more effective the way they were, and I...
  • Annie
    I do love the sad mysterious ones. Although I’m not sure I would have thought it was sad when I was a kid. This makes me think of my favorite Margaret Wise Brown books. I love the way Julie Fogliano plays with the poetic line, and how she dives right into the weird and unexpected stuff. And the illustrations are perfect. Just the right balance of beautiful and strange—and the imagined scenes being clearer and bolder than the images of the boy...
  • Leslie Reese
    This gem struck me as a poetic meditation on what an abandoned house is: a place that was once a home. A place where people lived life, dreamed dreams, and made memories. It wonders what happened that its inhabitants have not returned? "And maybe the house is still waiting there for them.Waiting to hear their key in the door.Waiting for voices to bounce down the hallway.Waiting for someone to come sweep the floor.Or maybe it loves to just sit and...
  • Rebecca
    Beautiful language by Julie Fogliano -- rhyming and not-quite-rhyming verse that begs to be read aloud. I can imagine having someone read this to me as a kid, and shivering with the mystery and possibility of exploring an abandoned house.Also note the unusual illustration technique by the always-inventive Lane Smith: “The illustrations in this book were done in two different techniques. The ‘present day’ illustrations were made with India i...
  • Traci
    Clever and thoughtful describe this lilting poem about a house that was once a home. Written by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Lane Smith and published by Roaring Brook Press.#PB #poem #rhyme #[email protected] @LaneSmith @RoaringBrookPress
  • GooseberryCompote
    This teaches kids that history is way cool, and why old stuff matters.
  • Edward Sullivan
    A boy and girl explore an abandoned house, and wonder and imagine. Evocative, inventive, and quite stunning.
  • Beverly
    Lovely musing text; beautiful, textured-looking collages.
  • Allison
    I have mixed feelings about this one. While the illustrations were dreamy and the words poetic, I question the ideas it may give children (and don't say they wouldn't get ideas - trust me, no biting books have inspired children to start biting!). I worry that some really imaginative kids might get the idea to go exploring in abandoned homes which is not only dangerous but could be illegal...
  • Jillian Heise
    Pair with This House, Once
  • Richie Partington
    Richie’s Picks: A HOUSE THAT ONCE WAS by Julie Fogliano and Lane Smith, ill., Roaring Brook, May 2018, 48p., ISBN: 978-1-62672-314-6“Who was this someonewho walked down this hallwaywho cooked in this kitchenwho napped in this chair?Who was this someonewho left without packingsomeone who’s gonebut is still everywhere?”In the attic, inside a big plastic storage bin of old photos and memorabilia, there’s a black-and-white snapshot of me ta...
  • Baby Bookworm
    This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!Hello, friends! Our book today is A House That Once Was, written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Lane Smith, an interesting examination of what makes a house into a home.Two children are exploring the woods one day when they come upon a derelict house. Its path is overgrown, its paint is cracked and fading, and its windows are broken, the l...
  • Michelle
    There's something so appealing about Julie Fogliano's writing. Lyrical, yet conversational, it evokes a dreamlike mindfulness that is both here-and-now and on the edge of something that's not quite, but very nearly in reach. It transports you, puts you at ease, and fills you with hope—a tall order by anyone's standards.A house that once was pairs Fogliano with Caldecott Award–winning illustrator Lane Smith to create an enchanting and unforget...
  • BooksForTopics
    Rhythmical and enchanting, A House that Once Was is a picture book about imagining and connecting with how things might have been different in other times. Deep in the woods two children discover an old house; “a house that once was but now isn't a home”. The children enter the house through a broken window and it is immediately clear that the house used to be somebody’s home, as the pair discover faded pictures, empty food jars and abandon...
  • Carol Vanhook
    What I especially liked about this book are the questions inside the house as to who lived here, what did they enjoy doing with their loved ones and friends, what inventive technologies did they use, and when did the somebodies live here. It is a puzzle that these histories fade away, unless documented in the history books of community and family.I truly loved this book as it stirred memories. As a pre-teen, I had this experience with a friend. I...
  • Jana
    With lyrical language and beautiful illustrations, this book has readers imagining all of the possibilities for what once occupied an old, abandoned house in the woods. As the children climb in through the window and have a look around, they look at everything left behind and think about who might have lived there once and how they spent their time. The artwork was created "using two different techniques: The 'present day' illustrations were made...
  • Tasha
    Two children head into the woods and discover an old house that is no longer a home. Once painted blue with an overgrown path, the house has a door that is stuck partly open. So the children enter through a broken window. Inside they find clues about the people who used to live there. There are art supplies, photographs, things in the kitchen for cooking, and beds that are still made. Could the owner have been a sea captain? Or perhaps a woman wh...
  • Margie
    If you drive the country roads, especially those less traveled and paved with dirt and gravel, you will see remnants of previous buildings. There are large square or rectangular areas with broken stone foundations. Some portions are entirely missing. Other rocks are cemented in place and a foot high. Standing fence posts designate the existence of former barnyards. Nearby there are similar but smaller foundations for the houses.A clearer sign of ...
  • Shaye Miller
    Two children find an old, abandoned house and begin walking through it, attempting to figure out who used to live there and why they left. They find old toys, discarded books, and pictures of who may have been the inhabitants. It’s both a sweet and somber picture book that includes a great deal of imagination. My daughter picked this one up for me from our local public library. She and I opened it and began pouring over the beautiful illustrati...
  • Karen Abbott
    In silence with secrets a house sits nestled in the woods. Two children find it and climb through a broken window and wander and wonder about what this house was and who lived inside. Where have the people gone who used to call this place their home? How long will the house wait for them to come home? They climb back out the window and return to their own cozy home, while back in the forest the little home sits in the weather and waits.The words ...
  • Jason
    Anyone who has read my reviews extensively knows that I hate rhyming picture books but this is one of the few exceptions to the rule. I am picky about meter and I want it to be consistent. I am not a poetry person, but I appreciate well-written poetry that (if it's anything but freeform) follows the structure of whatever type of poetry it is presenting itself as. SO MANY picture book writers are SLOPPY with meter and it feels condescending to me....
  • Julie Kirchner
    These illustrations are amazing! I love, love, love Lane Smith’s work in this book. Check out the little mouse peaking out of the photo on the wall! I truly enjoyed this story, told in rhyme, that made me wonder what has happened to the people who lived here and why did they leave their home behind? I could picture myself wandering through the halls of this house and imagining what might have been. I think this will be on my Mock Caldecott list...
  • Ann Haefele
    Loved this quiet reflective story of an abandoned house where children exploring it imagine how it once was a home. The writing begs to be read aloud, and the illustrations show the dreamy imaginative state of mind of the children. Lane Smith, the illustrator, mentions in a note on the copyright page that his “present” illustrations are done in India ink and his “imagined” scenes are done with oil paint.
  • Jillian
    It took me a while to get used to the way the story is presented - "that once was but now isn't a home," "once wasn't but now it is peeling." I think a read-aloud-er would have to be very careful not to lose those being read to with the dreamlike quality of the text.It really hits its stride about halfway through, though, and stays strong to the end.Makes me sad, though, to think of a house with books still on the shelves, a bed still made, pictu...
  • Vicki
    I love this book. This is exactly how I feel when I see abandoned buildings and houses-who was once here and what did they do?The author does a great job expressing the “wondering” part of this story. The thing I wonder about is the lack of an adult with these children as this could be a dangerous adventure. I would hate to have children encouraged by this book to explore like this on their own.The illustrations are well done, just not my per...
  • Lisa M E
    The story is adorable, but it meanders a bit much. Could be a good bedtime story. The illustration styles change between present day and the imagined past. Both are beautiful, but the children in the present day are somewhat creepy and void of personality. I so wanted to like this book more than I did.
  • April
    Brings me back to my childhood, exploring in the woods behind my house, wondering about the history of the old lane-way that ran through, which used to be a road. This book is exactly the kind of wondering that I love the most. Wondering, imagining, the history and the life of those who came before me and who may be gone but - as Fogliano puts it - "are still everywhere". Lovely.