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Kildee House (The Newbery Honor Roll) Paperback – September 1, 1993

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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About the Author

Barbara Cooney was a two-time Caldecott award-winner for her books The Ox-Cart Man and The Chanticleer and the Fox. She illustrated over 100 books by the time she died in Maine in 2000.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Series: Newbery Honor Roll
  • Paperback: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802773885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802773883
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a heartwarming story, very well written, about a man who builds a home on the side of a giant redwood tree. A family of skunks claim the house as their own, and the man is kind to them. Other forest animals visit, as well. The man doesn't have the heart to turn the animals away, nor can he turn away children from two fueding families. My eight year old son loved this book at bedtime. It's a gentle story written decades ago, in a gentler time. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Jerome Kildee is a shy stonecutter who retires to the redwood forest to be alone. He finds, instead, friendship for the first time in his life. Delightfully simple, soothing, and serene, this little book takes the reader into the heart of an unassuming man who finds joy in the animals and children he learns to know; the reader has the sublime opportunity of gaining the friendships Jerome finds in spite of his self-imposed isolation. His quiet ways allow for the local animals and children to invade his space, and that is when the fun begins. Jerome learns to relate to a variety of personalities and resolve the issues in an unusual community of innocence. The descriptions of his little home will charm you enough to want to retreat there. For anyone who enjoys nature and self discovery, Kildee house is a book to savor. I have read Jerome's story about 30 times. I love sharing it with the people I care about because it has never failed to delight and satisfy its new friends.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was not aware that this had been an award winner. My mom found it years ago at the local library and read it to us kids all the time. I purchased it to give as a gift for the next generation. My nephew and his wife are having a baby and asked the family to give them a favorite book from childhood so they could start their own collection of books for their kids.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who read Kildee House as a child is bound to remember the picture of Jerome Kildee's house built against a redwood tree in such a way that the back wall was the trunk of the tree. Jerome was a retired stonecutter who chose to live alone in the forest with raccoons nesting in his oven and skunks on his hearth. He also made friends with the children of his nearest neighbors--Emma Lou Eppy, who lived a mile down the hill and loved to visit Jerome and the animals, and Donald Cabot, a rich boy who lived far down on the other side of the hill and whom Emma Lou despised. When the animals multiplied and Jerome found himself with 30 skunks and 25 raccoons in his little house, he needed to find a solution that did not involve harming any of his friends. He also wanted to remedy the hard feelings between Emma Lou and Donald. This is a wonderful story in a lovely setting. Rutherford Montgomery makes the mountain location so real that you can smell the forest, picture the distant ocean, and feel with dismay the swaying of the redwood in a windstorm. If you missed this book as a child, it's worth reading as an adult, and if you did read it as a child, you might like to revisit it as I did. I loved it both times.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was a kid and it's lingered in my mind for many years. I'd tried to find it several times, but had gotten the name wrong. (I remembered it as "Kildare" instead of "Kildee.") Tonight, I tried once again to find it, and the name suddenly popped into my head. Typed it into the Google engine and the link took me here.

I'm now 55 years old, and I've been an avid reader my entire life. The fact that I've never forgotten this book is an indication of the emotional impact that it had on me. I'm at that awkward age—too old for children but no grandchildren yet—but I've been collecting cherished items from my childhood that I hope to someday pass on to the next generation because my childhood home was destroyed by fire, and this book is going into the box.

I may revise this review once I've re-read it, but I'd recommend this book to readers of the appropriate. It does have a bit of sadness in it, so be aware if your child is emotionally sensitive.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I LOVE having the older Newbery Medal and Honor books available to read aloud to my kids. This book got us through most of the drive home from California to Washington, and it was particularly meaningful because we had done some driving on the Pacific Coast. The story is sweet and charming and doesn't feel obviously contrived. There is problem-solving on a practical level and in relationships. The details about the animals are both realistic and very funny. My only criticism is the sentence structure can seem a little choppy, especially for reading aloud, so sometimes it was better to add conjunctions here are there to smooth out the narrative.
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