I want to build a seahouse

I want to build a seahouse

by Whitney Moran
illustrated by Josee Bisaillon
Nimbus Publishing, 2023
ISBN 978-1-77471-149-1
$14.95, 32 pp., ages 3 – 7

The main character in this colourful picture book is a young girl who lives in a lighthouse with her parents. The tranquillity of their life is disrupted when she becomes a big sister.

Our home was always peaceful
When it was just us three
But someone new has joined our crew
And now I want to flee!

What follows is her delightful and poetic imagining of a life of independence sailing the seas in a hand-built seahouse. Although she has built in every possible safety feature, and a pirate flag and buoys to help it float, whenever she thinks of her family on shore she becomes lonely. And then there are the thoughts of rough seas! I want to build a seahouse is a story about family, independence, and the acceptance of new siblings.

I want to build a seahouse
But I’ll keep my real house too
Because no house could be a home
Unless it’s filled with you.

Classroom Connections: Primary students will enjoy the rhythm of the rhyming text as well as searching the illustrations for eccentric details (e.g., a narwhale wearing a woolly scarf, an orca delivering messages in a bottle). There are many opportunities to practise reading strategies such as accessing prior knowledge, making connections, questioning, inferring, and making predictions.

Review by Brenda Boreham.

This review is featured in Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Fall 2023 issue.

You may also like