The Big Adventures of Tiny House by Susan Schaefer Bernardo

The Big Adventures of Tiny House

Susan Schaefer Bernardo, Author

Courtenay Fletcher, Illustrator

Inner Flower Child Books, Fiction, Apr. 25, 2017

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Tiny Houses, Salvaged, Recycled, Travel, Home, Community

Opening: Once there was a farmhouse in a field of hay, / but while it lay sleeping, the acres gave way / to a bustling city whose bright, shiny towers / edged out the farmhouse, the fields and flowers.

Synopsis: An old farmhouse finds its once peaceful setting surrounded by a big city. People pitch in and dismantle the house, salvage the windows and doors, and build a Tiny House on wheels. It has a tiny front porch, a kitchen with cabinets, a loft for sleeping and a nook for reading. When Tiny is hooked up to Big Truck they can travel where ever they want. Tiny heads west to see the world and discover if he’s a real home.

They drive past farmlands, visit the big silver arch in St. Louis, join a parade in New Orleans, camp near the Grand Canyon, drive through the desert and wind through the Rocky Mountains. Traveling can be fun, but Tiny becomes lonely.  They meet friends like Shiny (an Airstream) and Buster (a converted school bus) who invite Tiny to the Tiny House Jamboree. Back on the road Tiny discovers Harmony, a village of tiny houses, and learns a very important lessons about the meaning of home.

Illustrations Courtesy of Courtenay Fletcher

Why I like this book:

Susan Schaefer Bernardo and Courtenay Fletcher have outdone themselves with The Big Adventures of Tiny House, which captures the spirit and heart of the tiny house movement in America. Tiny homes and communities offer an alternative for those seeking a simpler and less costly lifestyle change, friendship and community. And yes, there is a big annual jamboree.

There is a lot energy and playfulness in Bernardo’s rhyming text. “If you’re looking for adventure, just follow me / to the axle-hoppin’, wheel-stompin’ Tiny House Jamboree. / We’ll raise the roof with our ruckus! All our kin will be coming! / There’ll be ringing and singing and dancing and drumming!” The story has a rhythm to it and is fun to read out loud along with the “Beep! Beep! Honk! Honk!” The pacing is perfect and the storytelling is clever. The ending is satisfying and carries a very important message for children about the meaning of “home.”

There is a richness and charm in Fletcher’s bold and colorful illustrations that make this a beautiful book to read. If you look real closely at all the illustrations, kids will discover eyes peering out the windows as Tiny rolls along the road, celebrates the jamboree or is content in his new community. The author and illustrator team up to once again produce another winning book for children.

Resources: Have kids draw or design their own tiny house. What would they put inside the their house? How big would they make it? The Tiny House website also has a template of a tiny house that kids can construct and coloring pages.

Susan Schafer Bernardo and Courtney Fletcher have collaborated on Sun Kisses and Moon Hugs and  The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, which was read aloud by First Lady Michelle Obama and sent to the International Space Station as part of Storytime in Space!  They hope that Tiny Makes his dream come true and finds his ways to Mars.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers share a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

*I was provided with a copy of  The Big Adventures of Tiny House in exchange for a fair and honest review.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

44 thoughts on “The Big Adventures of Tiny House by Susan Schaefer Bernardo

  1. I was watching a show on TV tonight that had a segment about tiny houses. What a great affordable alternative home. I like the fact that materials are often recycled or reused in making the homes. I’m sure with many people now opting for a tiny house, there would be a great readership for this book. It sounds delightful.

    • It is delightful. And, there is a movement to build tiny houses for the homeless. I love that people are finding ways to live more simply and finding community. Such a delightful picture book!

      • It is wonderful. For too long homes have become increasingly grandiose and pretentious. Many people have more rooms than they need or use. I’m one of those now – not grandiose or pretentious, just too many rooms.

    • Yes, I think it will continue to grow because it provides affordable housing. And, it’s perfect for those who like to travel too. I like that they are starting to build tiny houses for the homeless.

  2. I love the combination of recycling, becoming a Tiny House, setting off to see the world, and discovering the meaning of “home” – a theme of importance for kids of all ages!

    • It really works well in this story! I love the illustrations and the eyes in the windows and the small mouths near the doors. Great collaboration on this book. The book went to the big jamboree last weekend.

  3. I’m intrigued by the Tiny House movement and I think kids will totally fall for Tiny. One of my very favorites as a kid was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. It’s amazing how much you can sympathize with a house!

  4. I loved “The Rhino Who Swallowed A Storm.” This sounds like a great book. I love the house’s faces. Where can I get/find this book? Is it only available on Amazon?

    • Glad you enjoyed the review. Tiny does have a big personality and charm. I wanted to show him off. I’ve been printing larger copies of covers for my reviews.But, you do have a point.

  5. OMG this book sounds absolutely adorable. I love the tiny houses and the places they’ve go to! It sounds like a great way to encourage kids to travel and/or have tiny houses. Thanks for the lovely review!!!!!!!

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