The House by the Lake: The Story of a Home and a Hundred Years of History

By Thomas Harding

Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup

A beautiful picture book adaptation of Thomas Harding's Costa-shortlisted biography, exquisitely illustrated by Britta Teckentrup.

Thomas Harding first shared this remarkable story in his Costa-shortlisted biography The House by the Lake – now he has rendered it into a deeply moving picture book for young readers. On the outskirts of Berlin, a wooden cottage stands on the shore of a lake. Over the course of a century, this little house played host to a loving Jewish family, a renowned Nazi composer, wartime refugees and a Stasi informant; in that time, a world war came and went, and the Berlin Wall was built a stone's throw from the cottage's back door. With words that read like a haunting fairy tale, and magnificent illustrations by Britta Teckentrup, this is the astonishing true story of the house by the lake.

Categories: Picture Books

For readers aged: 5+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781406385557
  • Published: 03 Sep 2020
  • Price: £12.99
  • Size: 255 x 280 mm
  • Pages: 48

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Customer reviews


'The tome, published on Thursday by Walker Books, introduces themes of prejudice, belonging, identity and family, and features evocative illustrations by award-winning illustrator Britta Teckentrup.' The Jewish Telegraph

'Britta Teckentrup’s delicate, ethereal images enhance an atmospheric and ultimately uplifting tale that serves as an allegory for Germany’s troubled journey to its present-day state of stability.' The Financial Times

'It made me feel hooked and the stunning illustrations brought it to life. It is set in Berlin, Germany. This fantastic book is truly great for people eager to learn about World War 2 and the Berlin Wall. I definitely would recommend this book because I think that other children will like it too! Feedback from Mrs Haynes, Class 3 Teacher at Milecastle Primary School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: The book this afternoon is absolutely wonderful! The illustrations are beautiful and it fits perfectly with my lessons as this term we are focussing on illustrators and how pictures can help to tell a story. We read it together as a class and every child wrote a book review. They all gave it 5 stars and from a teacher’s perspective I can say that it led to so many brilliant discussions about Germany and WW2.' Books Up North

'Featured in a travel story about the Alexander Haus in The Telegraph.' The Telegraph

'Featured in an interview with Thomas Harding in The i.' The i

'Superbly written, it is an amazing achievement to distil a biography into a picture book forma t that tells such a strong story in a way that children can relate to. Combining this with Britta Teckentrupp's magnificent illustrations creates a book where text and illustrations work in perfect harmony to create an unforgettable visual reading experience. I can't recommend it highly enough and will be very surprised if it doesn't appear on award shortlists for 2021 . A truly wonderful, informative picture book.' The School Librarian

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