Maintaining a friendship is never easy-but when you’re young, and have yet to learn that each one has its highs and lows, it can be overwhelming, to say the least. To help them understand that everyone goes through these tough times is “Too Tall Houses.” There’s nothing like a book with two relatable characters to help pass on a life lesson to our little ones.
What Is ‘Too Tall Houses’ About?
The book takes its time explaining, showing, and building up the close friendship between Rabbit and Owl. They live happily beside each other-Owl in his nest, overlooking the forest, and Rabbit in his little hut, growing his garden. All is well for them until one day, Owl becomes irked by how tall Rabbit’s garden is becoming.
After making Owl makes his displeasure clear that he no longer has a good view of the forest, Rabbit is at a loss-after all, he must grow his food. Naturally this is where some sort of compromise would come in…but it’s never that simple.
SEE ALSO: My Snake Blake
An irritated Owl begins to build his house taller. Then Rabbit complains his house is blocking the sunlight for his garden. So Rabbit builds his garden on his roof-which makes Owl angrier. And so it continues, getting blown so out of proportion that the fight turns into a competition that no longer has anything to do with why the friends started fighting in the first place. When the situation finally reaches well beyond absolutely ridiculous (their houses towering over a map of the world) Rabbit and Owl must deal with the repercussions of their argument, and learn that with each other they have much more than they ever could without-and being friends is much more important than having a taller house.
The illustrations are friendly and charming. The colors are warm, and the characters are depicted so that we are quite fond of both of them. Rabbit has his long ears and floppy paws, Owl has his big eyes and fluffy body…they’re both so sweet looking we find ourselves sympathizing with both.
While not necessarily my favorite style of illustration, I none-the-less thought they suited the story quite well.
It is the human (and owl and rabbit) condition to, at some point, fight. Usually, it is over something that could be easily solved. But we just aren’t wired to compromise all the time. It’s something we have to learn as we grow up. To youngsters, fighting may seem like a bad thing that shouldn’t be happening-but the truth is, it happens to all of us, no matter how hard we try not to. In “Too Tall Houses,” the message is clear-even the best of friends fight, but there are great lessons to be learned from it. It also opens up conversation for the how one should go about issues that are raised between close friends.
Yes. More than anything, because the story and the message is so crucial to growing up (adults could also be reminded of a few things by it!) Friendships are hard, and confusing, and we all get hurt-we know that, and kids are learning it. In the end though, more often than not, friendship is also worth it. It’s all just another piece in the puzzle of growing up.