The One Day House by Julia Durango, Illustrated by Bianca Diaz [CeCe’s Book Review]

The One Day HouseThe One Day House by Julia Durango
Published: August 2017
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One day a community came together to help build up a neighbor’s home. Gigi needed repairs that may seem impossible if left to the resources and might of just one but when neighbors help neighbors, together they can rebuild and uplift, and get the job done.

I think The One Day House will encourage the young readers’ heart for service. Wilson is the little boy who lives next door to Gigi. He wanted nothing more than to see his neighbor and friend happy and well cared for. He spent time with her and shared his dreams for how he would help her out one day to paint her home, fix her windows and roof, build her a fence, and give her the home she deserved. Gigi didn’t seem the sort who’d ask anyone for help. She was content with what she had. In spite of all of the needed repairs, Gigi was grateful for her home and for her friendship with Wilson. He had great plans indeed and it was cool to see him work those plans out through the illustrations. He calculated the supplies he would need (you can see his math in the margins) and read up on how to get started on the needed repairs with books that he borrowed from his local library. He enlisted the help of the Build Up Neighbors program and together they labored until “one day” became today.

Julia Durango’s Author’s Note provides details behind the inspiration for The One Day House and includes links to resources encouraging the reader to consider how they might volunteer in their community. Bianca Diaz’s collage-style art is jovial and is demonstrative of the piece by piece work that became a beautiful whole in the end through the efforts of many, for the sake of one.

I saw the age range on Amazon as 3-7 but I believe that 8 and 9 year-olds would enjoy and benefit from the theme of community partnership and volunteerism as well.

View all my reviews


Julia Durango |

Bianca Diaz |

Charlesbridge |

Borrowed from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

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Maybe Something Beautiful

You might also like:
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood
by F. Isabel Campoy

This book caught my eye while browsing the stacks at my local public library because even from a distance I recognized the work of illustrator Rafael López on display in the children’s section. It rang familiar to me as it reminded me of the art in Jacqueline Woodson’s book, The Day You Begin.

As it turns out, Rafael López is a muralist and he and his wife and the movement they started in their community (in the East Village near downtown San Diego, CA) are the inspiration behind Maybe Something Beautiful. It follows the story of a little girl who beautifies her neighborhood with artwork. What was once gray and drearily dull, soon became a vibrant expression of beauty and joy. It took the work of a whole neighborhood. A community coming together to uplift all who lived there and anyone just passing through. Read more.


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