The Blue House (Hardcover)

The Blue House By Phoebe Wahl Cover Image
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(Picture Books)

Fall 2020 Kids Indie Next List

“What makes a home? In this beautiful picture book, Wahl explores the emotional arc of moving. But her story goes beyond the simple act of packing and leaving: A child and father are pushed out of their home due to gentrification, and their family is just the two of them. Small details, such as the records the child and father rock out to when they need to dance and scream out their emotions, will captivate readers. Though a subject many authors have dealt with, The Blue House offers a creative, alternative way of looking at moving, one with clear Pacific Northwest details and a family we don’t often see on the page. Warm, welcoming, and lovely!”
— Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA


In the tradition of Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House comes a heartfelt story about a father and son learning to accept the new while honoring and celebrating the old.

For as long as he can remember, Leo has lived in the blue house with his dad, but lately the neighborhood is changing. People are leaving, houses are being knocked down, and shiny new buildings are going up in their place. When Leo and his dad are forced to leave, they aren't happy about it. They howl and rage and dance out their feelings. When the time comes, they leave the blue house behind--there was never any choice, not really--but little by little, they find a way to keep its memory alive in their new home.

About the Author

PHOEBE WAHL's work focuses on themes of comfort, nostalgia, and intimacy with nature. She grew up unschooled in Washington State and credits her free-spirited childhood in the Northwest for much of her inspiration and work ethic. She works in a variety of mediums, from watercolor and collage to fabric sculpture. Phoebe graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in illustration and currently lives in Bellingham, Washington.

Visit her at
Follow her on Instagram at @phoebewahl

Praise For…

Winner of The Horn Book's 2021 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Picture Books of 2020

An NPR Best Book of the Year

PRAISE FOR The Blue House:

“Wahl makes both characters distinctive and sympathetic, and devotes loving attention to every spread.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review 
An absolute treasure for anyone who has ever moved.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
An affecting story about loss and starting over.” —The Horn Book, starred review

“An emotionally resonant picture book.” —Booklist, starred review

“This powerfully relevant, moving portrayal of a loving single-parent family during a period of unexpected change and transition is a must-have.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“The Blue House is an immensely satisfying picture book about a family acclimating to a big change.” —BookPage

“This is a picture book that rewards repeat readings and will doubtlessly stay in readers’ memories.” --The Horn Book

Refreshing. . . . This is a pragmatic alternative to Virginia Lee Burton’s The Little House, and kids will be glad to see that Leo and his dad negotiate their changing neighborhood. Make sure audiences get a look at opening and closing endpapers to see where Leo’s move took him.” —The Bulletin

Product Details
ISBN: 9781984893369
ISBN-10: 198489336X
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 11th, 2020
Pages: 40
Language: English