Aunt Amelia’s House

Publisher: Macmillan

A brother and sister are very excited to be going to stay at Aunt Amelia’s house, a huge place in the country with a garden to match.

Yet when they get there, Aunt Amelia announces that she needs help with all her chores before they can have any fun. What? How disappointing!

Except it turns out that Aunt Amelia’s idea of doing chores is rather unusual – watering the garden from a hot air balloon, swinging on the washing line and cleaning the windows of her house, suspended on climbing ropes. When Mum and Dad come to pick the kids up the next day, the children are really quite tired – but, by the time they get home, very enthusiastic to tackle all the “chores” waiting for them there.

This magical, delightful and beautiful book from Rebecca Cobb really has the feel of a modern classic. The story – about the unexpected magic to be found in a trip to a relative’s house where everything is just a little strange – is a simple one, but Cobb’s imagination elevates the fun to be had at Aunt Amelia’s to a fantastic day full of experiences children dream about.

Her illustration has a wonderful mix of painterly beauty and friendly strangeness (Aunt Amelia herself is a crocodile, whilst everyone else is human), which gives a pleasantly nostalgic feel. Yet there’s also a message here about making chores fun for little ones too.

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