Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Graves Family

The Graves Family

Patricia Polacco
Picture Book
Penguin, 2006   ISBN: 978-0142406359

   When a new family moves into town no one goes to visit them. There is something decidedly odd about them and everyone wants to keep theGravesfamily at a comfortable distance. Except Sara and Seth that is. Sara and Seth live opposite the house that the Graves family have moved into, and the children cannot help feeling that it would be neighbourly to go over and invite the children of the house to play. At the Graves house they meet Hieronymus, a boy whom they decide to call Ronnie. Soon Ronnie, Seth and Sara are having wonderful adventures together. Though Ronnie comes to Seth and Sara’s house quite often, Seth and Sara never visit Ronnie’s spooky looking blood red house.

   At last, one day when Mr. And Mrs. Graves are out, Ronnie invites Seth and Sara over. The children find themselves in the most bizarre, spooky, creepy house that they have ever seen. There are bats and huge spiders all over the place, and  an enormous carnivorous plant that likes to eat peanut butter sandwiches. Ronnie also shows his friends his father’s lab. And that is how Seth and Sara come to learn that Ronnie’s father is a brilliant if eccentric inventor. Indeed, they come to recognize that everyone in the family is eccentric, but Seth and Sara don’t mind. Quite the contrary, they grow very fond of the Graves family though there are some in town who would like theGraves’ to move away. What can the Graves’ do to make the townsfolk ofUnion Cityaccept them?

   This hilarious tale about a family that does not quite fit in will resonate perfectly with anyone who has ever felt like the odd one out. The tale is a celebration of diversity and eccentricity, and fans of  spooky stories are going to love this book.