Title: Little Church House
Author: Marla Martin
Major Themes: House Moving, Church Building, Pennsylvania, Flooding
Synopsis: Two books in one tell the true story of a church building in Pennsylvania that was moved to a safe place on top of a hill after being flooded twice in a few years.
I love the Little Church House books! Originally published in two volumes, Little Church House By the River and Little Church House Takes a Ride, they are now in one combined volume. Since each book by itself was nearly a hundred pages, this makes a fairly hefty picture book—great value for the price!
What do I love about this book? I love the pictures. They appear, to my untrained eye, to be pencil drawings, and are very lifelike. The pictures alone make Little Church House a delightful book!
I also love the text. It is a blend of prose and poetry—maybe you’d call it free verse poetry. The language is delightful. For example, after the flood waters go down,
“The rain stops at last—and the river sinks fast. Jon stands on the hill and looks around. He chuckles when he spies Grandmother Tree. She is a spectacle to see! Jon thinks that the mops look like big lollipops hanging up in the tree. Then he wishes for a real lollipop as big as a mop.”
And, last but not least, I love the story. In Little Church House By the River, the Conestoga River in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania rises and floods a small brick church house. The church people pull together to clean and renovate the building. In Little Church House Takes a Ride, the church people decide, after another flood, that they must move the building to the top of a hill. Pictures and text detail how this move was accomplished. Both stories are based on actual events.
If you want a fun story to read to your 4-5 year old, or a book of beautiful drawings, or a story with Christian values, get Little Church House. You won’t regret this purchase.
Listening Level—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9