Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Erin Napier The Lantern House Book Review

Discover HGTV Home Town's Erin Napier's children's picture book - The Lantern House.

Erin Napier’s The Lantern House is exactly what you would expect from a mother who also happens to be the designer of a hugely popular HGTV decorating show like Home Town. It’s a children’s picture book, which tells the story of a house as it becomes a home, effectively sharing the life cycle of a house. 

Napier’s simple, sweet pose combine to take us on the house’s journey. The story starts with a new 1940s-era house and follows as the house grows and develops when a family moves in, when children are born, when they grow up and leave and when the couple grows old until just one of them remains and finally, the family’s ownership or stewardship of the house comes to an end. The house waits until a new family arrives and it starts the process again. There's a lot to think about here. The book shares as a house does both life's happy and life's sad moments.

What started as a story for Erin and Ben Napier’s daughters is now available for all of us to enjoy. According to People magazine, Napier said, "The house is a watcher, a keeper and a guardian of the families that live there.” It starts as a shell but the occupants make it become more human, taking on life along with those who take up home within the walls.

Napier says it seemed natural for her to write a story about a house for her children because she has worked with and learned the story of so many houses. On one page of the book, the family’s daughter is married at the hearth, a story directly taken from the history of the author’s own home. See what the author has to say about the book in this short video:


Author - Erin Napier
Illustrator - Adam Trest
Format - Hardcover picture book
Pages - 40 
Publication Date - May 2022
Publisher - Little Brown
Size - 9 inches x 9 inches x 0.4 inches
ISBN Number - 9780316379601
Age Recommendation - Preschool to Grade 3

The book is illustrated by American artist Adam Trest. He illustrates this particular story with a lively blue house, a red-headed family and a spirited dog that everyone will love.

The Lantern House is a lovely story book for any child, sharing the story of both family and home. However, besides being appropriate for children, I think it would also make an unusual but interesting gift choice for any book-loving young couple taking up residence in a house and beginning the process of growing their own home and family or even for anyone who simply loves houses. Find The Lantern House here on Amazon.

See you
at the bookstore!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. What a delightful book. Love the nature of the story - virtually the life cycle of a house as a family lives, loves and grows. I never knew the feeling of living in such a house, as I've moved so many times. But I experienced it in my grandparents house, which was built in 1938 and housed my mother & sibs, then just my grandparents and Uncle Bud through the childhoods of visiting grandchildren, then great-grandchildren until 1978 when the last original occupant was gone and the house was sold. Forty wonderful years of family memories! Today the house is still there ... still my favorite address there ever was (223 Cloverland Drive) ... and still the house of so many lovely childhood memories. The Lantern House would be a lovely book to own simply as a representative of the memory of my favorite-of-all-time house. Thanks so much for this delightful book review, Brenda. You can't imagine how how many terrific memories of the special house of my childhood you evoked with telling me about this book.

  2. I love the idea of giving it as a housewarming gift! Our home is our shelter, our protector, and many of us feel strong emotions about our homes, especially if we have lived there a long time and/or raised our children in that house. It sounds like a delightful book to read at any age.

  3. This sounds - and looks - like an absolutely delightful, touching and heartwarming book. I love your idea of giving it to a young couple as a housewarming gift! Even though it was written primarily for young children and their parents, I’m sure my husband and I (who are in our late 50s and 60s, respectively and big fans of home renovation shows like Property Brothers) would also enjoy reading it and looking at the wonderful illustrations. Thanks for this terrific review!

  4. I know I'll love this book! This reminds me of the kid's Christmas story book (and TV cartoon) called Noel - I've always always loved that book - It's a similar premise, but is about a Christmas decoration named Noel - The story, like this one, goes through generations of families - Thanks so much for the intro to this book

  5. What a wonderful book for the kids. Your review brings back so many memories of the home I grew up in. My parents bought the house in 1953 and my younger brother and his family still live there. The home has been in our family almost 70 years.

  6. This book sounds like a winner in so many ways. I could see it as part of a housewarming gift as well as a book for children. Thanks for this lovely book and bringing it to me and mine.

  7. This sounds a delightful book! I love that it is a story about a house becoming a home and becomes a story of generations and their life experiences. Then how a home waits for a new family once the original family has left. Our homes are so much more than just buildings to live in and it sounds like this book captures that spirit and soul. What a beautiful children's book and I do like the idea of it as a housewarming gift for a young couple just starting the journey with their new house.

  8. Such a lovely book. I had the same thought as Olivia, what a wonderful housewarming gift for a family with children.


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