The House of Lost and Found

Martin Widmark; Illustrated by Emilia Dziubak

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • A moving and feel-good story about overcoming loss and finding hope from a bestselling Swedish author
  • Atmospheric illustrations from an award-winning illustrator will captivate young readers and adults alike
  • Lonely Niles is entrusted with his neighbour's plant pot -- as he cares for the growing plant, he starts to care for himself again and finds hope and friendship

A beautiful and uplifting story of hope from a bestselling author and award-winning illustrator. Niles lives alone in a big house full of junk and memories. Until one day a boy appears, asking Niles to care for his plant.

278 x 216 mm
Floris Books
Picture Books
colour illustrations
Age Range:
From 4 to 7 years
40 pages
Publication date:
20 Sep 2018


Niles lives all alone in a big dirty house filled with memories of the people who used to live there.

Then one day, a little boy appears on his doorstep and asks Niles to take care of his plant. Astonished, Niles takes the pot of dirt, and wonders what to do with it.

As a seedling appears, Niles realises how empty and lonely his house is and begins to care for the plant, his house and himself. By the time the little boy returns his flower has bloomed into a beautiful poppy and Niles, and his house, are filled with hope again.

This beautiful and uplifting story of loss and hope by Martin Widmark is accompanied by stunning, atmospheric illustrations by Emilia Dziubak, which capture Niles's journey from loneliness to friendship.


'Widmark's melancholy story about loneliness gains atmosphere and, ultimately, lift from Dziubak's beautiful illustrations, hand-drawn using colored pencils. Children will pore over the details and delight as Niles banishes murky darkness with light. Niles, his family, and the boy all present white in this Swedish import by way of Scotland. Lovely.'
-- Kirkus Review

'Hand-drawn illustrations done in colored pencils are rendered in gloomy drab colors until the plant sprouts -- then the light comes in. Niles washes windows, mops and cleans; his life has been transformed. The illustrations are dreamy, reminding me of Rembrandt, each one a work of art... Perfect.'
-- Youth Services Book Review

'A beautifully scripted, illustrated, and uplifting picture book.'
-- Midwest Book Review

'In this complex and mature tale of reawakening, pages boast dark, richly detailed illustrations aglow with deftly conjured light.'
-- Booklist

'Extraordinary and uplifting.'
-- Kindling

'An absolutely fantastic book, which truly left me speechless. It is a book that talks about loss, about finding hope, and of new beginnings, with extraordinary illustrations and a simple, yet very profound text. It is the kind of book that captures every reader, young and old, and definitely one of a kind.'
-- Our World of Wonder

'Emilia Dziubak's illustrations contrast the gloom and doom of the old man's sorrowful and lacking life in his rundown house with the life and comfort that just one flower and one little boy can bring. The old man's despair is common in life and the story of his renewal is told and illustrated with compassion and hope.'
-- Vermont Country Sampler

'This is a wonderfully uplifting book about coming to terms with grief and loss, and the power of nature.'
-- Juno

'This book is hands down one of my top five, favorite children's books of 2018... This book is full of hope and just a wonderful story. The illustrations are stunning! This is definitely a book that I want to keep in our home library. 5 stars.'
-- Goodreads Reviewer

'Touching, sentimental story, with vivid, beautiful illustrations. Powerful story of loneliness, and how the smallest seed can bud into renewal, revival, friendship, and love.'
-- Goodreads Reviewer

'It's hard not to feel immediately drawn into this world and enraptured with its atmosphere.'
--Let's Talk Picture Books blog

'I enjoyed this picture book... I plan to buy this for my elementary library.'
-- NetGalley Librarian

'This was such a sweet book... The book has gorgeous illustrations throughout and it is mostly a picture book that follows the old man in his home. The detail is AMAZING and I loved spending time on each page to look through all the details. The story made me tear up a little at the end, it was very uplifting and a wonderful read. I think both parents and kids will really enjoy reading this one together.'
-- NetGalley -- Cover2cover Blog

'[A] tale of hope for all ages, told with stunning illustrations... The illustrations and mystery flower will appeal to emerging readers and the story will capture the hearts of mature readers.'
-- Goodreads/Twitter--NetGalley

'The narrative is crisp, unsentimental, and economical. A perfect marriage of text and illustration... This struck me as stunning, [both] as a story, as an example of poetically crafted storytelling, and as a work of art. The author is widely celebrated in his native Sweden, and it's a delight to have this translation now available. This is not only a wonderful book for the family shelf, it should have pride of place.'
-- Goodreads/NetGalley

'Uplifting and meaningful... The text is simple and the pacing just right... Encouraging and hopeful, The House of Lost and Found is an excellent resource for children to understand and empathize with individuals dealing with grief.'


Martin Widmark is the bestselling Swedish children's author of over 100 books. His titles consistently top Sweden's bestseller lists and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Before becoming a full-time author, Martin worked as a middle-school teacher and a Swedish language teacher for immigrants, and now uses his experiences to promote reading and literacy for young people.

Emilia Dziubak is an award-winning artist from Poland. She is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and has illustrated numerous children's picture books that have been translated into many languages. She is the illustrator of USBBY- listed The House of Lost and Found, as well as Little Pearl and Dreams of Near and Far, also co-created with Martin Widmark.

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