Friday, October 02, 2009

This Old House: Creaky Old House--A Topsy Turvy Tale of a Real Fixer-Upper by Linda Ashman

Our house is kind of old and creaky.
Porch is sloping, roof is leaky.

Windows drafty, shutters peeling.
There's a crack across the ceiling.

Paint's a little chipped and faded,
Still--each one of us--all nine,
Thinks this house is fine, just fine!

Everyone, from Gran to baby Lizzie, has his or her favorite places in this old house, and it seems about perfect until one day, something goes awry.

Pa was headed out the door,
When--CLANG--the doorknob hit the floor.

Not a big deal, you think? Just needs a screw or two, you say? Well, it's not that easy. First the family hurriedly locate just the right screw in their cram-jammed tool shed, only to find it's too small.

"Seems to me," said Uncle Bob,
"We'd better get another knob."

Well, things go from bad to worse. When the knob from Wally's Hardware, Est. 1910 doesn't fit, the situation calls for a new door, but when the door from Dorothy's Door Emporium won't fit in the doorway, Ma suggests that they shift the doorway just a tad.

"But then," said John, "the couch won't fit.
We'll have to move the wall a bit."

"Fine," said Lou, "but if we do,"
We'll have to move the stairway, too."

The problem presents the need for an architectural renovation of the whole downstairs, which means....., well, you can see where this is going. The whole family is soon in an uproar over the proposed changes, but when it's time to take a vote on the plan, the vote count only comes to eight.

Little Lizzie is missing, and when the family searches all the nooks and crannies of the creaky old house, she is at last found, by the front door, with her precious pacifier in pieces, but with a Cheshire Cat grin on her face.

"Well, I'll be," said Uncle Bob.
"Lizzie's gone and fixed the knob."

Yep, the pacifier part works like a charm and so does the old doorknob, and the thankful family gathers on the old porch swing and agrees that they "wouldn't change a single thing."

Linda Ashman, whose 2008 Stella, Unleashed: Notes from the Doghouse won the hearts of dog lovers and reviewers alike, (see my post here) has followed up with another rip-roaring rhyming tale about a family caught in the throes of escalating home improvement. Michael Chesworth's rollicking illustrations add nothing but fun to the mix in their brand-new romp, Creaky Old House: A Topsy-Turvy Tale of a Real Fixer-Upper (Sterling, 2009).

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