Monday, April 16, 2018

Andrew Henry's Meadow by Doris Burn

Just as relevant today as it was in 1965, this is a heart-warming story about children who want to feel special and appreciated for who they are.  Book Depository

This is a very old book but luckily it is a classic and so it is still in print.  Andrew Henry's Meadow was first published in 1965 and so it seems odd that I had not heard about this book nor had I encountered Doris Burn who is such a skilled illustrator.

Andrew Henry lives in the town of Stubbsville. Andrew Henry is an inventor. He makes the most wonderful devices - a helicopter in the kitchen, an eagle's cage in the living room, a merry-go-round for his sisters Marian and Martha and a "system of  pulleys" for his brothers Robert and Ronald. Sadly his family do not appreciate his creativity so he packs his tools and sets off to build a house for himself. Sam, his dog, is left at home. Andrew Henry finds the perfect location and he builds a splendid house using clay, rocks and poles. Andrew Henry enjoys his solitude but he is not alone for long. Alice Burdock arrives and she asks Andrew Henry build her a tree house. As the days go by George Turner wants a bridge house and Joe Polasky wants a dugout house. Jane O'Malley and Margot LePorte request a castle and a tee pee.  Meanwhile all the parents are frantically searching for their missing children. It's time for Sam to save the day!

When Andrew Henry comes home things change. He is given space for building and he makes something for every member of his family.

"He built a roller coaster for Robert and Ronald's toy cars. By using a bucket and parts of an electric fan, he made a hair dryer for Marian and Martha. The coffee mug he made for his father worked the same way as a bird feeder does. And he was especially proud of the automatic table setter he made for his mother."

You can see more of the illustrations here and here. You can see a video reading of the whole book.

I would pair Andrew Henry's House with Building our House, The Junkyard Wonders, Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty and Whatcha building by Andrew Daddo.  If you have a child who loves to draw grab this book because the pencil sketches are sure to inspire them. Also why not take this book outside to read and then make a construction, invention or house yourself. The fun you and your children will have might amaze you.

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