September 28, 2018

The House of Lost and Found by Martin Widmark - Illustrated by Emilia Dziubak

Niles, a lonely old man lives quietly in a secluded home. Just like its owner, the house is neglected and full of good memories of happier times. Unable to move on from his wife's passing, his thoughts of her linger in the house. He remembers his children who have now grown and left him. The thoughts of what used to be and what he has lost have made him bitter and longing for the past.

The mood is solemn and dark but not eerie. The memories while haunting are beautiful; he cannot let go. Niles lives a solitary existence until he meets a new friend and it changes his outlook on life. With a willingness to move forward, Niles is rejuvenated to reclaim his life and his home to make new memories.

This uplifting and meaningful story is by bestselling Swedish children's author Martin Widmark. The text is simple and the pacing just right, Niles' transformation from depressed to hopeful is unembellished and leaves room for thought. Emilia Dziubak uses coloured pencils for the illustrations here with an emphasis on light and dark. Rough strokes resemble old films. The memories are drawn like apparitions and the detailing of the flower petals as lingering memories is very touching and effective. This would make a great animated short film.

A book with similar themes to this is On the Other Side of the GardenEncouraging and hopeful, The House of Lost and Found is an excellent resource for children to understand and empathize with individuals dealing with grief. Originally published in Swedish as Huset som vaknade by Bonnier Carlsen Bokförlag 2017. Recommended for ages 5+.

Amazon | Book Depository
Floris Books 2018
Hardcover 40p
9" x 11.2"

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