Review: Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke

2 September, 2014 Reviews 4 comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben HatkeJulia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke
Series: Standalone
Published by First Second on September 2nd, 2014
Pages: 40
Genres: Childrens', Innocuous, Picture Book
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

When Julia and her walking house come to town, she likes everything about her new neighborhood except how quiet it is! So Julia puts a sign up: "Julia's House for Lost Creatures." Soon she's hosting goblins, mermaids, fairies, and even a dragon. Quiet isn't a problem anymore for Julia...but getting her housemates to behave themselves is!

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures is the first title I have read from Ben Hatke but if all his books are like this one, I’m going to hunt them down and read them all. The premise of this picturebook is deceptively simple. A magical Julia arrives into town with her house (which is carried from place to place by a humongous turtle) and settles in by the sea. But her house is too quiet and she’s lonely so Julia decided to open her house to lost creatures of all kinds.

julias house for lost creatures 1

The art of this picturebook is out of this world with bright colours and beautiful lines. The art is wonderfully creative. The typography matches the story perfectly and the writing itself is simple enough for a child to read on their own but Hatke uses some sophisticated diction to keep things a bit challenging. Julia is a fantastic heroine because not only is she capable and friendly, but she is also enterprising and deft with her hands.


The picturebook can be used by parents to illustrate the concept of division of labour, as a segue into more serious talks about diversity, tolerance of different kinds of people, and to teach children how to approach real conflicts with friends. The book also sounds divine when read out loud and I can see it being a favourite with many children. The language is fresh and full of life. The rhythm of the sentences is pronounced making it fun to read out loud. Does it have crossover appeal? I certainly enjoyed it. I recommend it for all parents and their children.

Nafiza is a misplaced Pacific Islander who loves sunshine, pineapple and flowers. Also, books. She loves books enough that she is working to make that passion into a profession. She is a candidate for a Masters of Arts in Children's Literature and is currently working on a thesis which might be driving her crazy...crazier. She has also perfected the art of speaking about herself in third person.

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