“In the home where twelve children were born and raised, where they ate and slept
And worked and played and laughed and loved and grew quite old,
Where they’ll live on, now, in this book that you hold,
Like your stories will, so long as they’re told.”

Farmhouse Cover

What’s the Story?

Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall is one sentence long. Granted, it’s a very long sentence. 


But that’s the least interesting thing about this book. 


Farmhouse is a book about family, childhood homes, and the value of old things. We watch a family with 12 children grow up and, as they grow older, so does the house. What starts with children dreaming of stars and the sea ends with them going out into the world to make those dreams come true. The farmhouse, with its wallpaper peeling like onion skins, now stands alone.


That is, until a new character, the author herself, discovers the house and creates this book to keep the farmhouse’s story alive.

Why is it Great?

Farmhouse is a true story.


When Sophie Blackall bought an old farm and falling down house, she discovered a piece of lost history. Like an archeologist at a dig site, she found clues left by the Swantak family and their 12 children. The family grew up and moved on long ago. The farmhouse no longer exists.


But its story lives on in this book. 


Two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall has already established herself as an exceptional illustrator but Farmhouse continues to impress with its combination of found-object illustrations and watercolors.

The pictures in this book are truly marvelous and the level of detail is astounding. We see each individual room, crafted with care, and we get a glimpse of the life of the family within. Then, the illustrations pan out to show the house in its entirety. The rooms are not separate illustrations but, rather, parts of one great big illustration of the whole house.


This book is truly a labor of love. 

Farmhouse Kitchen

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