The Wild Little House (cover) Eilís Dillon
The Wild Little House

Perhaps it was because it had been built by a sailor that the Wild Little House had a hankering for the sea-shore. One morning John, who lived in it, woke up to find he was looking out on green fields not far from the sea. John's father was a shoemaker and the sea-shore people didn't seem to need shoes in the same way as the townspeople, so it was hard to make a living. But the little house was kind and sensible and it thought of a clever way to make everybody happy.

WHAT THE REVIEWERS SAID:

"The wild little house, standing on four stout posts, tires of resting in the midst of tall, stiff houses. It discovers it can walk and, after a few preliminary runs, it takes off for the seaside. Both the story and the illustrations dance with humour." (British Weekly)

"An engaging book, with a definite character of its own." (The Scotsman)

"Original and enchanting ... enlivened by fine illustrations by V. H. Drummond." (Church Times)

"An imaginative piece of fun for the very small." (Woking News)

"Delightful." (Heywood Advertiser)

"Gay, stylish and individual ... I liked the story immensely and believe that children will take it straight to their hearts."

Here's the opening page ....

It really was a wild little house. It stood in the middle of a street of tall stiff houses in a town on top of a hill. It was made of wood, and it was set high above the ground on four stout posts, like legs. One could get right in under it, and the little boy who lived in it often did this. His name was John.

Through a gap between the houses in front, the wild little house could look far away down the hill to the sea. All day long, except when there was a fog, it watched the great ships sailing by, and its timbers stirred a little, restlessly, for it would have liked to go sailing too.

The house had been built by an old sailor home from the sea, and he had made all the rooms inside look like ships' cabins. There were swinging lamps and shelves with brass rails on them, and beds like bunks, set in the walls.

"He should have put me right on the sea-shore," the house thought to itself "There would be lots of people there, sailors with gold ear-rings, and stories about islands full of palm trees and monkeys. Nothing happens here."

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