Emily's House


32 pages
ISBN 0-88899-111-8
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Joanne Fitzgerald
Reviewed by Adèle Ashby

Adиle Ashby, a library consultant, is the former editor of Canadian Materials for Schools and Libraries.


Emily’s House is a variant on the old Yiddish saying “It could
always be worse.” The story introduces us to blue-overalled Emily, who
lives in a little red-brick country house all by herself, except for a
small brown mouse. Despite the solitude, she finds the noise of a
creaking door and a squeaking mouse to be too much. The mouse suggests
that she get a cat, which adds its meow. When Emily again complains
about the noise, the mouse suggests acquiring a dog, which bow-wows;
then a sheep, which baas; then a goat, which maas; then a cow, which
moos; then a dove, which coos. When all these additions become too much
for Emily, the mouse sends all the animals outside, leaving Emily to
appreciate the ensuing comparative quiet.

The cumulative repetitive text is in rhyming couplets, with lots of
animal noises. The result is a wonderful read-aloud, complemented by
charming, soft, country-style watercolors.


Scharer, Niko., “Emily's House,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/22902.