Twisty-Turny House – written by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by EG Keller

Twisty-Turny House – written by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by EG Keller, A Paula Wiseman Book, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2021. 9781534438477

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? “Four humans (whom we never see), a rabbit, seven fish and a rat live inside a twisty-turny house.  Plus two cats who live upstairs and three dogs that live downstairs.”  The rat wonders why the dogs don’t visit. The fish talk about the dangers from cats and the rabbit talks about the dangers from dogs.  That’s the way it is.

Until one day a door on the top floor is left open and the cats venture out.  They are not impressed with the dogs who show them all the great things about where they live.  The cats are still not impressed – after climbing up the curtains, unearthing snacks and shredding the sofa. One cat looks like a purple Siamese while the other is an orange tabby while the dogs are a hot pink chihuahua, a big blue fluffball and a small orangish terrier.

They decide to take a look at the “In-between” place – and what a place it is!  The best snacks straight from the fridge, drinking water from the sink and the toilet and ripping up the toilet paper.  This is followed by digging up the plants, trashing the bed, pillows and rug. A two-page spread now show what great friends the three dogs and two cats have become.  Adorable. They all decide to live together with the fish, the rat and the rabbit.  The fish, by the way, are green (2), purple, pink, orange, blue and teal while the rabbit is a greenish-blue or a bluish-green, the rat is pink and white.  The inside front cover has framed photographs of the animals singly (except for the fish, of course) while the back has framed pictures of the animals, in twos, threes, an eight and a nine.

The wonderful watercolor-like illustrations were rendered with scanned paper and paint textures combined with digital drawing in Procreate on an IPad Pro.  The text was set in ITC Goudy Sans Std.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? This is just a fun book about togetherness. and home and friendship and getting along. The absence of adults lends to the fun (where are they?  there is evidence of toys in the hallways).  There is no way kids won’t enjoy watching the havoc that the dogs and cats create reminding me of Simon’s Cat.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries, K-2 libraries and child-care centers

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Well worth it

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Editor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: September 10, 2021

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