The houseminders ISBN: 9780340764718
Published by Hodder, 2001
The move in this book takes a long time. When Paul and older sister Didi see their new home for the first time, it is autumn, and the house is dark and has a sad smell. Mum says they will do it up and points out the lovely countryside round about. Paul confides in Didi that he hates empty houses, and she shows him an old cushion left in the house, with two little field mice inside. These, they decide, are the houseminders. The next time they come, in winter, they discover bats in the attic, and in the spring, house martins build a nest in the eves. By summer, the family moves in, and they then become their own houseminders. This gentle approach to a move manages to emphasise the positive aspects and give the children a long period of adjustment. The naive, chalk illustrations, rather like children's drawings, cover the pages with soft, glowing colour, and the text is integrated beautifully.