I Want to Live in Ira’s House

IraSleepscoverIt’s one of those things you appreciate only the second time around, when you’re reading the book to your own kids. Ira’s house in Bernard Waber’s Ira Sleeps Over (1972) seems at first like a typical 1970s suburban home, but when you look closely there are lots of details that convey the kind of culture-loving, bohemian-leaning people Ira’s parents are. It’s the kind of environment I think I should be raising my kids in — if only we got rid of our TV and all took up instruments.

I love how Ira’s mom is curled up with the newspaper while her husband is just hanging out, playing the cello:

IraSleepsParents Even when Ira’s big sister is taunting him, she’s in the middle of practicing the piano: IraSleepsPiano The dad looks very comfortable in the kitchen … and they clearly don’t eat Wonder Bread:IraSleepsCookingThe parents are also fans of ballet: IraSleepsCelloLast but not least, check out what’s under the dad’s arm when he comes to answer the door during the sleepover:IraSleepsAlbumAn album by the noted Ukranian violinist, Igor Oistrakh!IgorOistrakh1

2 thoughts on “I Want to Live in Ira’s House

  1. Paulis Waber

    Hello Mrs little. I read this piece to my dad, Bernard Waber. I just stumbled across it again and realized it was written only a month before he died. Did I ever write to you to say that he’d loved it? I can’t recall because it was a hectic time. Anyway, I love your writing and unique views about children’s books and I was glad I could share your affection for Ira’s house with my dad.

    1. Mrs. Little Post author

      Paulis, if you would ever share some photos of the interiors of your childhood home I would really love to see them. I am working on a piece about great interiors from picture books and your dad’s are among my favorites (as you know!)


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