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!
The simple, sweet text of this picture book by New York Times Best-Selling Zita the Spacegirl author/illustrator Ben Hatke is perfectly balanced by his lush, detailed, immersive watercolor illustrations.
Julia, a resourceful, apron-clad redhead, lives in a dilapidated Victorian house that gives new meaning to the words "mobile home": it rests atop a giant tortoise. Once the house settles by the sea, Julia isn't content to sit alone with her amassment of antiques; instead, she opens a "House for Lost Creatures." Beasts quickly arrive, including a patchwork kitty, a melancholy mermaid, and a variety of Sendakian monsters. In his first picture book, Hatke (the Zita the Spacegirl series) crafts a funny, fantastical scenario with a girl hero in charge. A mix of panel sequences, spot illustrations, and full-bleed spreads push the action forward. When chaos erupts elves (who consist solely of long beards, beaky noses, and pointy hats) invade the kitchen; the mermaid basks in the tub, demanding towels and soap; and a dance party commences after a troll discovers the record player Julia assigns each misfit a household chore. Readers will approve of Julia's democratic solution, especially since it allows the menagerie to stay together and in a cozy, snoozing heap no less. Ages 4 up.