Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The One Day House

The One Day House

Julia Durango
Illustrator:  Bianca Diaz 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Charlesbridge, 2017   ISBN: 978-1580897099

Wilson spends a lot of time with Gigi, the old lady who is his neighbor and friend. Wilson wishes that he could fix up Gigi’s house and yard. He tells her how “one day,” he will paint her house “orange and yellow like the sun.” Gigi is moved by the little’s boy’s kindness, and she tells him that “today, you are all the sunshine I need.”

Wilson talks about how, one day, he will build a fence around Gigi’s house so that she can have a dog, and he will fix her chimney so that she can have a fire on cold winter days. He tells her that one day he will fix her piano so that she can “play music again.”

Wilson tells the ice cream man, the neighbors, the librarian, and his teacher that one day he will fix Gigi’s windows, repair her stairs, fix the roof, and plant her a garden. All of these people love Wilson’s ideas, and in the end those ideas, those “one day” wishes, make something magical happen.

Every year, in a small town in Illinois, volunteers get together to work on the homes of “the elderly, disabled, and needy.” This is called the Labor of Love event, and together the volunteers do repairs, clean up yards, and make homes more safe, comfortable, and cozy. The author of this book has a friend who works on the Labor of Love event doing carpentry repairs as needed. His gift of his time and his skills inspired her to write this story. The hope is that young people all over the country will be inspired to follow Wilson’s example by volunteering in their own communities to help people take care of their homes and gardens.

Every home, school, and public library should have a copy of this book on their shelves. If offers children a reminder that they can make the world a better place, one house, and one neighborhood at a time.