________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 31. . . .April 15, 2016


My House is Alive!: The Weird and Wonderful Sounds Your House Makes.

Scot Ritchie.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2016.
40 pp., hardcover, $17.95.
ISBN 978-1-77147-136-7.

Subject Heading:
Household sounds-Juvenile literature.

Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 5-7.

Review by Gillian Richardson.

*** /4



Can you hear that watery noise?

Refrigerators make lots of noises, but if you hear trickling water, it could be the defroster at work. The defrosterís job is to melt ice. The water runs down a drain inside the fridge.... TRICKLE, DRIP!


internal artAs night settles over the house, noises that may not be noticed during the day become puzzling, even scary, for young children. This engaging picture book shares a few of those common sounds and gives a brief explanation of their cause: the banging of metal heat vents expanding, the gurgling of water leaking from a loose toilet plug, the refrigerator defroster melting ice, buzzing in fluorescent lights, birds in the chimney, creaks and groans as the house settles or wood dries out, the rumble of a garage door opener. Thereís an additional sound at the end that little folks wonít have to wonder about: YAWWWN!

internal art     While the reasons are presented in a simple and straightforward way that incorporates some basic science, the illustrations that show a small boy imagining a giant hammer and tea kettle, a monster, enormous bee and huge purple rhino in the garage are the sources of humour in this picture book. He is accompanied by the family cat who exhibits just the right amount of curiosity, then even cosies up to one of the monsters. This lighthearted approach will go a long way to dispel the fears of youngsters who have their own list of spooky night time house noises. The watercolour illustrations are lively and colourful.

     Try My House is Alive as a bedtime story, one that may help to reassure youngsters about other scary noises in their own house.


Gillian Richardson is a freelance writer living in BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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