Bella and the Voyaging House
Illustrator: Nicholas Schafer
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Published: July 2021
Bella and the Voyaging House by award-winning author Meg McKinlay is a tender, whimsical story of a girl’s fierce love for her grandfather and the wild possibilities of imagination.
In this stand-alone follow-up to Bella and the Wandering House (Fremantle Press, 2015) determined and resourceful Bella, aided by her amphibian house, sets off one night in search of a truly special birthday gift for Grandad – a figurine of Grandma buried in the shallows of an offshore island. When things go amiss on the homeward journey, comic events unfold, and inventor Grandad comes to assist in fantastical fashion. Among many thematic undercurrents is the strength and endurance of love. McKinlay’s writing is infused with wry humour, especially where Bella’s hapless, misguided parents are involved, and her depictions of the ocean have a meditative quality. The text is complemented by gentle sketch-like illustrations by Nicholas Schafer. Extensive teaching notes for the book are also available on Fremantle Press’s website.