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Book Review: H.O.U.S.E.: Homes That Are Outrageous, Unbelievable, Spectacular, and Extraordinary by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski

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How would you like to live in a house at the top of a tree? Or in a sewer tube?

What about a house shaped like an egg? Or one made from shipping containers?

H.O.U.S.E. is an acronym for Homes That Are Outrageous Spectacular, Unbelievable, Spectacular, and Extraordinary, and certainly the 35 real houses illustrated in this book for all ages fit the description.

The houses exist all over the world and in every sort of surroundings, from mountains to sea, big cities to small towns. Not all of them are meant to be lived in, One is just big enough for drinking tea and one is for displaying clay pots. Some seem very impractical, like the ones where even the toilets are in full public view. But not one house is ordinary!

Charmingly drawn illustrations reveal the inside and outside of each house and the text introduces the architects and the people who use the houses. The pages are colorful, too. Sometimes it is hard to read the text, though, when you have a color like purple for the page and black text.

The text is simple enough for young readers and the illustrations will appeal to them, but adults will enjoy the book too. The use of a key to indicate certain features of the houses and a map that shows where the houses are located add an interactive touch. Pages that detail monsters who threaten Japan and types of aliens and the houses they might live in add whimsey,

There are practical ideas here, such as a mobile house that looks a lot like a shopping cart for homeless people and houses that expand and contract to take advantage of space and even a turtle house that is smaller in winter and larger in the summer.

You may not find the house of your dreams in H.O.U.S.E., but it certainly will open up your mind to the many possibilities for human habitats!

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.
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