House has a problem.
She’s a little spooky. She’s a little cobwebby. Oh, no! What if she’s haunted?
She’s not sure, but…her hinges creak. Her pipes bang. And on windy days, the branches scritch-scratch at her windows. She tries to hold her breath and be as still as possible. If she’s on her best behavior, maybe a family will move in.
How will House ever find a family that doesn’t mind being haunted?
Jessie Sima has been on my list of favorite picture book authors/illustrators since NOT QUITE NARWHAL, and HARDLY HAUNTED cements Sima's spot on my auto-buy list even more. The illustrations are absolutely adorable with soft tones, great use of color, and an amazing personification with the 'facial' expressions of the house. I also loved the little drawings of the cat throughout the story.
While the illustrations blew me away, the themes made this a picture book I'll read again and again. House is haunted and worries it makes her unable to be a home for someone (and/or unable to be loved). She has to learn to embrace who she is, even if she knows it might be harder to find a family who wants a house like her. Once she is able to stand tall and proud as is, the right family knows they've found their home immediately.
With lovely illustrations, heartfelt themes, and an adorable cat, HARDLY HAUNTED is a must-read picture book for readers young and old.