Under a Mushroom

Under a Mushroom

I fell in love with my first tiny house when I was in fourth grade, and it was the size of a mushroom. The book “Under a Mushroom” by Anita Lobel was located in the bookshelf of my classroom, and during nearly every free reading period, I would take it to my desk and pore over the delightful illustrations. They showed small, fantasy creatures living under mushrooms complete with small furniture, pots and pans, miniature wood stoves and even curtains made of flowers. After school I would run home and attempt to make my own “mushroom house” underneath a pine tree.

The story is about a Troll family who live under a mushroom in a meadow. They are content in their tiny home, but a bit bored. One day it begins to rain and various other creatures (Glumps, Dimmles, Gizzygonks, Tomtes and the like) show up to come out of the damp. Mr. and Mrs. Troll happily invite their guests in for tea until the party becomes too crowded and the various dancing and chaos knocks over the mushroom. The Trolls bemoan the loss of their home, until the sun comes out and they realize that overnight dozens of mushrooms have popped up all around the meadow – with enough room for everyone.

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]


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alice - November 21, 2011 Reply

There’s a lesson in there somewhere . . .

amy o. woodbury - November 21, 2011 Reply

this reminded me of the troll tree on lake harriet in minneapolis. click on the link below.

    alice - November 21, 2011 Reply

    That is so cool! There’s a hollow like that in a tree near my place that’s just begging for a little door, though I don’t think I could handle the letters part.

Pilgrim - November 21, 2011 Reply

May the light shine on affordable housing (tiny especially!) for everyone.

Hap Mullenneaux - November 21, 2011 Reply

Beautiful, Christina. My wife cites the Boxcar Children series as a profound influence. For me it was Scuppers, The Sailor Dog. He gets shipwrecked and builds a cool shack out of found materials. Notice how cozy the rooms, especially bedrooms, are in the great books for kids. No 8′ ceilings.

Patty Lynn - November 21, 2011 Reply

Wow! I love these illustrations. For me the books I liked were Trolley Car Family, Box Car Family and Swiss Family Robinson – all lived in small homes of a sort. I now also live in a small home – a 10 X 55 Smoker Mobile Home and just love it.

Corby - November 21, 2011 Reply

How cool! Imagination really needs to be embraced. I think it was Richard Scarry’s ‘Busy Busy World’ that led to my love of unique, creative, and just-the-right-size places.

Rebecca B. A. R. - November 21, 2011 Reply

When I was little I had Sylvanian toys and Maple Town toys (they have “come back” and are like the Calico Critter toys today). They had little cardboard houses, and furniture. I’ve always loved miniatures, too. I like the books (that also became a cartoon later) about the The Littles by John Peterson and Roberta Carter Clark.

Ruth Kelly - November 21, 2011 Reply

What a delightful book.

Marjie - November 21, 2011 Reply

What a charming book. Funny how those early books have influenced us. And, Hap, it brought back the memories of the Boxcar Children for me too!! I loved those books! My daughter has a book about Scuppers, the sailor dog, and his boat cabin is the best (a hook for everything).

Bonnie - November 22, 2011 Reply

The Boxcar Children, absolutely!

Hannah - November 22, 2011 Reply

Wow, these comments totally brought me back 🙂 I’d completely forgotten about The Boxcar Children! Makes me want to dig through my mom’s bookstash she keeps around for the grandkids and see if she’s saved any of them.

I also loved Swiss Family Robinson and Busy Town–I think Swiss Family Robinson was probably a big help in developing my off-the-grid dreams.

Christina, I love this post!

Christina Nellemann - November 22, 2011 Reply

All the books mentioned were also favorites of mine, too. In fact, for many years as an adult I could not remember the name of the Under the Mushroom book, until one day I saw it on another blog and I was able to find it online in a rare bookstore. Isn’t the Web wonderful?

Lorraine - November 26, 2011 Reply

For me it was the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Although my favorite was Little House in the Woods, I built my own Little House on the Prairie… on my own 14 acres. Inside, it is more like New York Loft on the prairie, however! My eastern view shows a highrise dorm on the university campus 4 miles away. Best of all possible worlds. I’m creating a living seed banks because it is at the corner of 4 different ecosystems. It is a dream come true, with a spacious 660 square feet. Big for a little house, but tiny by Texas standards.

CC - January 7, 2013 Reply

This was a favorite of mine as well — and now of my children. As we embark on moving from “small” to “tiny” I hadn’t thought of the connection…but now it seems to clear. Thank you!

Gail - August 2, 2013 Reply

Thanks for this post. I loved this book as a kid in the 70’s. I’ve thought about it from time to time and How cozy their world was. I think it subconsciously affected me, for I love living in my small house with lots of access to outside.

Preparing for the New Year: Become the Ant - Tiny House Blog - December 24, 2018 Reply

[…] child my tiny house tendencies shined at an early age. When I wasn’t out searching for gnomes or little people living under mushrooms, I was partial to the ant in Aesop’s fable, “The Ant and the Grasshopper.” In the story, not […]

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