Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Making Room

Making Room

Joanne Taylor
Illustrator:  Peter Rankin 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Tundra Books, 2004   ISBN: 088776651X

It all begins very simply when John William Smith builds himself a home on the top of a hill overlooking a lovely valley. It is just a one room affair, and it is all John needs until he starts to feel lonely. It isn’t long before John has brought a young wife, Annie, to his home on the hill. Annie is a wonderful wife who takes very good care of John. Over time the couple need more room, and John gets out his tool box and begins to build; first there is a pantry, then a nursery, then some bedrooms for John’s parents who are coming to live with them. More and more people are added to this family, people down on their luck, people in need of a home and companionship, and people whom John and Annie kindly take into their hearts.

The house gets larger and larger until John’s wife says “I think we need…another house added on to this one.”  And so the family continues to grow.

The goodness and generosity of John and Annie is heart-warming and reassuring, for we cannot help noticing that all the relatives and friends who move in are people who are in need of help and a home. As we read this picture book, we watch the family grow and expand, we see more and rooms being added so that there is place for the new arrivals. Based on the true story of a Cape Breton family, “Making Room” is a very special book indeed.