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

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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • GooseberryCompote
    This teaches kids that history is way cool, and why old stuff matters.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Bella
    Gobsmacked! Didn’t know that children’s board books can accommodate such beautiful narrative poetry. The flap told me the illustrator won some awards or sommat, and though the busy style irked me when I laid eye on the cover, I began to marvelled at some of the intricacies in the paintings after a few pages. Beaut!
  • Alice Ball
    What is the difference between a house and a home? When two children come across an abandoned house in the woods they imagine the people who once made it a home. Brilliant illustrations, and touching poetic prose.
  • Marcia
    Spectacular! A beautiful text married with very cool illustrations that show both the abandon house before and after. A bit melancholy, a bit adventurous, a really interesting book. A Caldecott contender.
  • Mary Librarian
    I love the technique used for the artwork. It has a quality that reminds me of a memory and that is what this book is about. A house that is full of memories but is no longer a home for making new ones.
  • Mary
    Where do I start? The imagination required to create the story? The skill to express it? The beauty of the art work? I am saving this book for myself. When I retire and have time to quilt, I will use these colors to guide me.
  • Ireadkidsbooks
    Melancholy. Lovely illustrations -- I really appreciated the mixture of techniques to convey the "then" versus the "now." The text is solid but lacked the lyrical quality I've come to expect from the author. I'm not sure kids will like this one as much as adults.
  • Emma (Miss Print)
    Gorgeous. I love that Smith's artwork is always changing and evolving. Fogliano's text is beautiful and lilting. The opening and closing pages reminded me of a villanelle or Annabelle Lee. Lovely all around.
  • Darshana Khiani (Flowering Minds)
    a gorgeous, lyrical bookso much fun to read aloud.
  • Pam
    Two boys discover an old house in the woods and explore it. They imagine who might have lived there. The author leaves it open ended so readers can speculate too.
  • Kristen
    Really digging the illustrations, especially the flowers.
  • Lisa D
    What a beautiful book! this should win awards!!
  • Amanda
    Awesome illustrations. Poetic writing. Caldecott potential?
  • India
    Thoughtfully lovely with a dream-like eerie quality.
  • Karen
    I love the illustrations!
  • Kelly Carey
    Lyrically wonderful -- equal parts warm and comforting and mysterious and haunting. Brilliant -
  • Kelly
    The illustrations were okay, but very jumbled. The story was difficult to follow at times, and I tried to look at it through a child's eyes. It didn't go well.
  • Steph
    Ah, this is just so lovely. Illustrations that are spectacular and a story that touched my heart.Oh how I love my home, sweet home.
  • K
    So interesting as a picture book for olders. There's a tone that reads older as these kids discover an adandoned house.
  • Ampersand Inc.
    Sweet and book about two kids who find an abandoned house and think of all of the possibilities of who used to live there.