The Great Blue House by Kate Banks and illustrated by Georg Hallensleben
This is a gentle picture book about the seasons of life seen through the perspective of a blue house in the country. As summer comes to an end, the family in the house packs up and goes away. But is the house uninhabited? Through lush paintings and lyrical prose, the house is seen and described through the coming seasons. A mouse nibbles on crumbs in the kitchen. A songbird roosts in the attic. A stray cat finds her way in and curls up by the stove. The descriptions of the house through the seasons really focus on the sense of hearing, such as the “buckle and crackle” of frost on the windowpane and the “gurgle” of water in the pipes. When the family returns in the spring, they are greeted by kittens meowing and baby birds chirping. The family also has a new addition – a baby crying. A joyful celebration of the seasons and new life.