This is a whimsical classic I remember very fondly from childhood. It’s about a house that unmoors from a quiet London street after weeks of rain, carrying Mother, Father, Granny, Morgan, Baby and Tailcat out to sea. There they encounter pirates, cannibals and Mr and Mrs Bruce…who started off on a paddle cruiser in Hull and ended up in the Pacific Ocean.
With witty prose by Pat Hutchins and lively illustrations by Laurence Hutchins there is plenty of fun to be had in each action-packed chapter, perfect for reading aloud to children. I was eight when my mother read this story to my sister and I.
We loved this story so much that we even named our cat after the fearsome pirate, One-Eyed Jake. Not that our cat had only one eye, but there was something swashbuckling about him. On rainy days when he couldn’t get outside he would sit staring at the window wondering perhaps if maybe, just maybe, today would be the day the house sailed away.
The House that Sailed Away, by Pat Hutchins, published by The Bodley Head, is available now.