A Latvian book now translated into English, One House for All asks what happens when three close friends find that their needs are different, and have to learn to compromise?
Crayfish, Raven and Horse want to live together as friends, but are also ready to get married and have children. They soon realise that their wants and needs are not the same, and have to make a hard choice – not get married at all, or think of a creative solution that works for them all.
Aside from the repeated focus on marriage (it’s 2018, after all – and the original only dates to 2014), this is a very sweet story of good things coming in threes, be it three friends, 3 acres of grass, or three-metre-high bedrooms.
The story follows a pattern – each friend has the same idea, but in their own way. I haven’t read it with my class yet but I’m prepared to wager that, if I stopped reading the story at the crisis point, the kids would come up with a very similar solution to the main characters; like the friends, kids are often great at thinking outside the square if given a chance.
The illustrations are saturated with colour, and appear simplistic or childlike at first glance, but are layered and richly detailed on a closer look. This would be a great read-aloud for children aged about 4 – 8 years old.
Reviewed by Rachel Moore
One House for All
by Inese Zandere, illustrated by Juris Petraškevičs
Published by Book Island Ltd