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Children's Fiction New Experience

The House Next Door

illustrated by Claudine Crangle

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Aug 2021
New Experience, City & Town Life, Emotions & Feelings, Architecture, Friendship
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 6
  • Grade: p to 1


Alone on his lot, a sturdy little house has stood for as long as anyone can remember, stoically weathering the storms. But one day, the wind brings change.

One house, then another, is built off in the distance. Then a road is paved through his field, and more and more houses appear all around. The house closes his shutters to wait out this alarming development.

But in the dark, the house notices he is no longer pushed by the snowdrifts or battered by spring storms. And when he peeks open a shutter, he sees the house next door glowing with a golden light. Just like his. Throwing open his shutters, he finds himself surrounded by a diverse neighborhood of homes. Together, they look forward to seeing what the wind will blow in next.

With great wit and an eye-popping use of cardboard, paint and fabric, multimedia artist Claudine Crangle explores our fear of difference through the viewpoint of a small country house beset by urbanization. But not everything that’s new is bad, as the little farmhouse learns in this timely and hopeful picture book about embracing the changes in life we can’t control.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

About the author

CLAUDINE CRANGLE is a multidisciplinary artist whose previous picture books include Priscilla Pack Rat and Woolfred Cannot Eat Dandelions. As a kid who loved to make things out of cereal boxes, she hopes that this book will inspire creativity and construction. All of the houses in this story were made of cardboard, paper, found objects and various other materials scavenged from recycling bins where Claudine lives, in Toronto, Ontario.


Claudine Crangle's profile page


  • Commended, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Best Books for Kids and Teens

Editorial Reviews

Crangle’s writing is charming and full of fun wordplay. … A beautiful book!

Cloud Lake Literary

A delightful book that will resonate with readers while leaving them with lots to think about.

SesayArts Magazine

A child-friendly, approachable, and useful story that can serve as a springboard for conversations about fear of change—and the embrace of it.

Horn Book

A good read-aloud … The personification of the house and its feelings work well, and children can relate to the shy little farmhouse whose world is changing even though it does not want change.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Claudine Crangle's fantastic, Wes Anderson-esque artwork is a perfect backdrop to her story of how to welcome change.

Open Book

Young children, who thrive on familiar places and routines, will probably relate to the story, which reads aloud well. The multimedia illustrations, which incorporate three-dimensional houses built of cardboard, paper, and found objects, have a distinctive look. An attractive picture book.


[D]elightful papercraft illustrations.

Canadian Children’s Book Centre

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