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WHO STOLE MY HOUSE? by Barbara Veit


by Barbara Veit & illustrated by Anna Laura Cantone & translated by Marianne Martens

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-7358-2122-4
Publisher: NorthSouth

Aside from a protagonist with an engagingly goofy look (and wits to match), this inane tale has little to recommend it. Snail slips out of her shell to take a bath and then, as the text awkwardly puts it, “Just as she was about to slip back into her house, something terrible happened. There was nothing under the leaf!” Snail proceeds to alienate an ant, a bird, a mouse and a tedious array of other animals by accusing each of theft, then spots her portable domicile just where she’d left it—heigh ho, she’d looked under the wrong leaf. The cartoon illustrations provide neither a visual clue to underscore Snail’s folly nor smooth transitions between scenes. While this may serve as a weak caution against making wild accusations, it won’t engage reader interest nearly as well as Eric Carle’s similarly structured Grouchy Ladybug (1977) or Have You Seen My Cat? (1973). (Picture book. 6-8)