CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 1966
retold by Sorche Nic Leodhas
illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian
Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965
Interests: Scotland, folksongs, poetry, hospitality/generosity
A traditional Scottish folksong retold retaining enough old Scottish words for colour and interest. Lachie MacLachlan, his wife and ‘wee bairns’ (ten children) live in a tiny house, but Lachie invites in everyone who passes by, with a merry shout of “Always room for one more!” As the growing crowd sing and dance, the walls shake and the little house finally falls to pieces. The guests then repay the MacLachlans’ hospitality by building them another house… twice as big as the old one, so they will truly have “always room for one more!”
A warm little tale about neighbours helping neighbours. Lachie is the heart and soul of hospitality, and is repaid in full by his guests. The unfamiliar Scottish words are explained at the back of the book, along with the author’s personal recollection of hearing the song as a boy. The melody for the old folksong is also included, with the instruction: “A flexible and individual use of this basic little tune is essential for a happy rendering of Always Room for One More.”
A good introduction to traditional songs from Scotland, as well as to different speech patterns and vocabulary. Also a happy example of generosity and community.