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The One Day House

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  326 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Wilson dreams of all the ways he can help improve his friend Gigi’s house so that she’ll be warm, comfortable, and happy.

One day, friends and neighbors from all over come to help make Wilson's plans come true. Everyone volunteers to pitch in to make Gigi's house safe, clean, and pretty.

Inspired by a friend’s volunteerism, author Julia Durango tells a story of community and
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by Charlesbridge Publishing
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Recently I've been blessed, reading a good many gorgeously illustrated, heartfelt and purposeful children's picture books that make my heart sing with hope and joy. Hope for all the little ones who will soon become the next generation of leaders. And joy for us grandparents who get to watch it happen.

A young grandson, has big beautiful dreams for making life a better, brighter place for his grandmother. Orange and yellow paint for her house. Bold colorful flowers. Tasty vegetables in a garden
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Community Involvement & Cross-Generational Friendship
A young boy named Wilson longs to be able to help his elderly neighbor Gigi in this engaging picture-book about cross-generational friendship and community engagement, envisioning all the ways he will one day repair and improve her house. His ideas find a receptive and enthusiastic audience with various community members, from the ice cream man to his teacher, and eventually "one day" arrives...

Inspired, according to author Julia Durango's note, by an annual community event in LaSalle County,
Brenda Kahn
A lovely read aloud about altruism and community spirit. Also a beautiful example of friendship between an elderly person and a child. Vibrant mixed media art.
Amy Layton
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
Do you want to cry like a little baby? Do you want your heart to be so full of joy that it almost actually explodes? Do you want affirmation that there's something good in the world? If so, this book is for you. It pieces together hope, love, and community action in a way that's sweet, endearing, and positive. This book shows that we can make the world a better place because we can, no questions asked, for nothing in return. It's a beautiful book with an even more beautiful message. This should ...more
Minh Lê's "Best Picture Books of 2017" gave this an Honorable Mention for "Best Surprise."

Young Wilson tells a neighborhood elder Gigi about how "one day" he will do things to improve the house she lives in. It's very sweet -- accompanied by childlike drawings of his plans -- and she affirms him while also affirming that being with him right now is joy enough. I really appreciated the multiracial community we see throughout the pages and then oh! The unexpected ending is so sweet! I almost got
I absolutely adored the illustrations in this book, especially those “drawn” by the protagonist. It’s incredibly sweet each time he mentions an improvement he wants to make to his Gigi’s house, but the fact that they actually transpire is absolutely heartwarming.
Ms. B
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture, 2017
A book about helping your neighbors, this would be a great book for promoting Habitat for Humanity or Doing Good Together.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Wilson wishes that one day he will be able to help Gigi in many ways. He says that one day he will paint her house yellow like the sun, but Gigi assures him that he is all the sunshine she needs. Wilson wants to build a fence for her yard, fix her stairs so she can climb them again, fix her piano so it can be played once more. He wants to create a garden for her and fix her roof. There are so many things to fix and Wilson can’t do them by himself. Luckily though, Wilson asks for help and the ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wilbur, a young Latino boy, teaches us that you can make a difference, no matter how old you are, by bringing together his friends and neighbors to repair the house of his elderly friend Gigi. When Wilbur sees a sign on the outside window of the local café for “Building up Neighbors”, he begins to tell Gigi and people in the neighborhood his plans on the changes and repairs he would like to see done to Gigi’s home one day. When that day comes, everyone Wilbur has shared his plans with shows up ...more
Kaci Noyes
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: smith-s-class
This is a great story about how a young boy wants to make a better home for an older woman named Gigi. He has many suggestions, though some may not be realistic, but he is not able to do this on his own. One day, he gains support of the whole community and they are able to make a dream home for Gigi.

I thought this was a very cute book and I loved how it was intergenerational. Most children's book involve kids doing things for other kids, but this was was much more than that. I also loved how the
A young boy wants to do so much for his grandmother and not only does he wish these things, he draws a picture of them. Bianca Diaz creates the illustrations in her own style, but in the boy’s youthful style too. The boy Wilson says, “One day, I will paint your house orange and yellow like the sun.” Gigi, the grandmother smiled. “I will like that. But today, you are all the sunshine I need.” The story continues with more of Wilson’s wishes and at the end, there is a big surprise.
Julia Durango
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Julia Durango's new picture book about caring for neighborhood friends is about Wilson, who wants to fix up the house of his elderly neighbor, Gigi. With the assistance of his community friends, Wilson is able to help Gigi have a better home. The Bianca Diaz illustrations are perfect using many artistic ways (watercolor, gouache, acrylic, india ink, pencils, crayons, markers and handmade paper) to portray aging community buildings. The author cites the "labor of love" in her La Salle County, ...more
Kay Carman
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lovely new picture book about a little boy who dreams of making life better for an elderly neighbor by making repairs to her home, planting a garden, and mending her piano. As he shares that dream with others in their neighborhood, a cadre of helpers, caring souls with good hearts, join forces to make the dream come true.

I especially liked the author's note who described the annual Labor of Love event held in LaSalle County, Illinois, that served as the inspiration for the story. She refers
Wilson promises Gigi, an elderly lady who lives in his neighborhood, that one day he will fix all of the broken things in her old house. When the day finally arrives, the little boy and a small army of neighbors show up with sleeves rolled up and love in their hearts. This awesome picture book is an inspiration to everyone to serve their neighbors. In a world where there is so much bad news, this wonderful story reminds us the importance of being connected to each other. The last page has an ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful picture book where a boy promises “one day” to help his grandma fix up different parts of her house. Then, the community comes together to do it all.

I wish it wasn’t over simplified but went just one more level deeper into the humanity part of it. I feel like the illustrations tell more of the story than the words do.

Speaking of illustrations, I LOVED them, especially the math and doodles that make it look like Wilson’s own drawings. The community pictures at the end were equally
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wilson loves his Gigi and wants so badly to be able to fix up her house so that she can enjoy her life the way she wants to. He tells her his plans and he tells all of his friends how he can improve her life. The community comes together to help Wilson realize his dream of improving his grandmother's house, emphasizing just how powerful the goodwill of friends and neighbors can be. The collage style illustrations interspersed with children's drawings brings the story to life for readers who can ...more
Stephanie Bange
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
An inspiring story of kindness and helping your neighbor.

Wilson expresses his altruistic ambition to help Gigi fix up her house to everyone he meets. While Gigi seems happy as she is, she is overwhelmed when many people in their community show up and repair her house. Durango's tale was inspired by a friend who helps similar events happen in their community. Her debut book, Bianca Diaz successfully uses mixed media to visually tell the story, as it occurs in a very diverse neighborhood.

Steve Holden
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very sweet and enjoyable read. The illustrations are wonderful, and really help add to the overall mood this story inspires. There are a lot of positive messages to takeaway from this read. One is the power of being in the company of those you love each day. A second is how powerful the help of a community of people you love can be, and what they can accomplish in a short period of time. It's difficult to not smile as you read and finish this one!
Amanda Sanders
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this story, a compassionate boy wants to fix up his grandmother's house to make her day-to-day life better. Before the story begins there is a sign for "Build Up Neighbors" so there is no surprise when the neighborhood comes together to help fix Gigi's house and fence. The author recommends similar programs at the end (Labor of Love, United Way, and Habitat for Humanity) if readers know of anyone in need.
A young boy wants to help repair his elderly neighbor's house but he isn't equipped to do it until many in the community come together to work together to repair her home. A great picture book to pair with Seedfolks by Fleishcman. Julia Durango lives in Ottawa, IL and the illustrator grew up in the Pilson area of Chicago.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fun read and yet it gives some ideas for community outreach to help neighbors in need. Wilson is going to help Gigi paint her house but he is only a boy. So he keeps promising to do it and tells many people from the community. And the community of Build Up Neighbors comes together. Great read to children about community service and what we can all do to help.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked how this story was inspired by actual events experienced by the author's writing partner and friend. I also liked that even though Gigi knows her house needs repair, she appreciates what she has and feels the love and support of her grandson is more than enough. Bright, colorful illustrations help tell Gigi's story.
Another book that brought me to tears. A boy and a community get together to repair his grandmother’s house. Close to home. My students are always dreaming of owning a house. One warned me if I went there I would only find an apartment. Another often tells me stories about getting a house then recants.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfect for teaching the meaning of community. Young Wilson promises his Gigi that one day, he will fix up many parts of her home: the paint, the roof, the squirrel-infested chimney. She brushes off his offers, only to have a surprise in store when “one day” becomes “today.” This story will inspire kids to look around for ways to serve others. Highly recommended.
Julie Kirchner
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got a little weepy as I read this story and then read the back matter that shared the inspiration for it. Oh if we could all take the time to help our neighbors and make the world a better, more loving and caring place. The illustrations that included what looks like kid inspired art work is absolutely precious and perfect.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: storytime, kids
This is a very sweet story, and I love the community-involvement element. What has happened to our country that so few people have close bonds with their community? It's so...sad! This is a beautiful picture of what good can be done when people come together. And if folks wanted to come to my house and fix things, I'd be more than grateful! lol
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
A boy dreams of making his grandmother's house better. There was a disconnect in this book with the ending. It just didn't compute--wishing doesn't result in accomplishing dreams--and I didn't like this misrepresentation.
A love for a grandmother, and a community coming together. As I was reading, I thought the focus of the story was the powerful mindset and perspective of the grandmother, which was truly a gift for all ages. But the end...what a smile!
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
January 2018 - a sweet story with a wonderful message about community and helping others, plus simple enjoyment of what life has to offer. Gentle and simple enough for younger kids, while older kids could get more out of discussing how we can help others.
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