The Lost House

"Grandad promised to take his grandchildren to the park today./ But he needs some help getting ready./ He's lost a few things." It's no wonder that Grandad, a dapper and mustachioed bulldog, has misplaced his socks, shoes, house keys, even his false teeth, because his splendidly overstuffed house is crammed to its lofty ceilings with curiosities, artwork, furniture and collectibles. His two grandpuppies--and by extension, readers--are charged with finding what Grandad has lost, item by item, and this none-too-easy seek-and-find challenge is the core of The Lost House by B.B. Cronin, an award-winning illustrator originally from Dublin, Ireland. Needless to say, the trio never quite makes it to the park.

It's a delight to wander through Grandad's eccentric house of fascinating, slightly insane rooms, from the magenta mezzanine to the shiny red kitchen and green greenhouse. Each gorgeous room and its eclectic contents are all awash in one color, some so neon as to inspire rapid blinking: "In the pink drawing room, there are pairs of galoshes and plenty of glass lamps./ There should also be a pair of Grandad's glasses in here. Where are they?" Readers can flip to the title-page spread to see what each item looks like. Cronin's minimal text is noteworthy, too--lively, often alliterative and occasionally poetic. A glorious world of oddities, sly winks and red herrings, The Lost House is a find. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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