cover image A Home Named Walter

A Home Named Walter

Chelsea Lin Wallace, illus. by Ginnie Hsu. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-31641-7

A white clapboard dwelling with a face rendered on his roof and walls, Walter relishes the “hustle and bustle” of family life. When his residents, an interracial family of four, unexpectedly depart, he expresses hurt by letting “his grass turn brown and his plumbing rust.” Before long, pale-skinned Mama and light-brown-skinned Little Girl arrive. At first, Walter (the story’s only named character) tries various tricks to “Get. Them. Out,” but when he observes Little Girl speaking to a photo (“I miss you, Papa”), pent-up sadness pours forth in the form of burst pipes. Simultaneously, Little Girl discovers a photo of Walter’s previous occupants, allowing the pair to bond over their experiences of loss. In acrylic gouache, colored pencil, and digital art, Hsu depicts Walter with simple facial features, including a mouth that frowns, pouts, and eventually smiles, in conjunction with Lin Wallace’s emotionally focused storytelling. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)