The House Full of Stuff is about a man, Mr McDuff, who sees the potential to make, repair or create in everything. It is a gift. My father-in-law had the gift. You know someone with the gift. And they have a house full of stuff too.
While Mr McDuff’s neighbours live in cookie-cutter houses with immaculate lawns, Mr McDuff collects badminton shuttlecocks, glass eyeballs, nails, tinsel and, well, everything. And this ‘everything’ collection spills out of his house (which, as stated in the title, is full) onto his anything-but-immaculate lawn. No-one understands Mr McDuff because only Mo ever stopped to talk and ask him WHY he collects stuff. Then Mr McDuff quickly and efficiently repairs Mo’s bike, and the neighbours begin to recognise the value of his ‘junk’ (which is now referred to as ‘discarded treasure’), and through his influence their houses become characterful homes and they become friendlier neighbours.
Rand is an accomplished illustrator and it is evident that tiny detail is her forte. The line art, with its intricate expressiveness is only emphasised by the sophisticated restricted use of colour. Of course, anyone with a set of crayons might find temptation irresistible!
With the current trend for make-do-and-mend, upcycling, and second-hand purchasing, this is a good book to encourage more ‘green’ solutions. While my favourite Emily Rand book, In the Darkness of Night, still holds top billing, there is a lot to love about The House Full of Stuff too.