• Steven Heller

Weekend Heller: Stuff Loved and Lost

As a baby boomer I am one of millions who must find ways to manage, donate or dispose of decades of stuff. Accumulation is natural. But ridding oneself of accumulations is part of the life cycle. Brían Cronín’s current children’s book, the charmingly illustrated The Lost House (Viking/Penguin), continues a long tradition of interactive “seek and find” books. But this is as poignant for the aging boomer as it is engrossing and fun for the youngest reader.

The story centers around an acquisitive grandpa who promises his grandkids a day in the park. But first they must locate a mass of stuff that grandpa requires for his trek, including socks, shoes and even his false teeth (yikes). Of course, as you’d expect, the search is not easy because each of his brightly colored rooms is packed with acquisitions galore. Cronín’s drawings are wonderfully detailed and in the process of seeking the hidden necessities there are many surprising anomalies. For us boomers with the hoarding gene, this is a wake-up call. For the young reader it is perfect for bedtime reading.

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