Title: The House On Pleasant Street
Author: Sofie Laguna
Illustrator: Marc McBride
Published: August 2022
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Readership: Children’s Picturebook
I received a copy of The House On Pleasant Street from the publishers for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A spooky, exuberantly funny and hugely entertaining book about a boy who is having trouble making friends in his new neighbourhood… From bestselling author Sofie Laguna. Perfect for Halloween reading!
And tonight is Halloween – Alby’s favourite night of the year – so ANYTHING could happen…
A hilarious story about family and friendship, and what happens when trick-or-treating doesn’t go to plan.
Halloween is one of my favourite holidays and I’m always on the look-out for Australian books that have themes/celebrate Halloween in a way that is representative of the place where I live, and The House On Pleasant Street is a great little book that has that kind of feel while also having an important message about fitting in.
Alby and his family have recently moved to Pleasant Street and despite doing his best to fit in at his new school and on his new street, people just seem to find him strange. Then Halloween comes around and suddenly Alby has the opportunity to show everyone how the things that make him uniquely himself are fun and exciting and ready to be known.
This is a fun and quirky picturebook – the illustrations are very interesting to spend some time looking closely at. Some of the things I enjoyed the most about the book included the idea that kids just want to fit in and feel like they belong – something that’s universal and easily understood by the intended audience. I loved that Alby’s parents are just so embarrassing for him (also universal) and made all the more obvious because his dad’s a bit vampiric, his mum has snakes for hair, his pet is a dragon and their tree likes to go one walks with them all!
Despite being a little bit spooky, all of the characters are benevolent monsters in an ordinary world which makes it just a little bit magical.
Also, as mentioned, the illustrations are really fun. There’s a cool mix of illustration and realism that makes each page intricate and interesting to unpack.
For more thoughts, you can check out my video review below: