Goodbye House, Hello House

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

A little girl is saying goodbye to everything she’ll miss when she moves house, thinking about everything she’s doing for the last time: it’s the last time she’ll run through the trees, pat her pony and swing on the gate. Dutifully, she says goodbye to every room in the house, including the mousehole in the corner and the spot above the skirting board where she’s written her name.

Happily, once she gets to the new house, there are plenty of new rooms to say hello to: there’s a new gate to push open for the first time, and there are exciting, bright city lights twinkling outside her window.

This is a really wonderful book about saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new, helping children through periods of change. You could read this with a child who is daunted by moving house or school – the message, that new things usually bring new pleasures – remains the same.

Ann James’ painted illustration gives warmth and neutrality to the places, meaning that readers can impose their own familiar ideas about home onto them, contrasted with the dynamic black-and-white depictions of the little girl, who is all action and movement. Simple and effective.

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