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Children's Fiction General

The Couch was a Castle

by (author) Ruth Ohi

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2006
Recommended Age
2 to 5
Recommended Grade
p to 1
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2006
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2006
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


For Burt and his little brother, spending time on the couch is anything but boring. After all, a couch can go through some remarkable transformations with a little imagination. And so the boys ride the couch like a horse and envision a cowboy pursuit. Later the sofa doubles as a pirate ship battling the stormy seas. But when some stage-couch theatrics end in tears, it’s up to Burt to rescue his little brother’s feelings ... and the fun.

Ruth Ohi draws on her cast of guinea pig characters introduced in Clara and the Bossy to tell a new and innovative tale for younger children. Ohi’s rhyming text makes for read-aloud fun, while her gentle illustrations cleverly show first the reality and then the boy’s imagined worlds. A pitch perfect mix of playtime fun with a hint of sibling bickering makes The Couch was a Castle as honest as it is imaginative. 

About the author



Ruth Ohi a illustré plus de 50 livres pour enfants et est l'auteure de certains d'entre eux. Ses livres, traduits en plusieurs langues, se vendent à travers le monde et ont figuré sur la liste de plusieurs prix littéraires prestigieux. Elle vit avec sa famille à Toronto.


RUTH OHI has illustrated more than fifty children’s books — several of which she has also written, including Fox and Squirrel, Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend, Shh! My Brother’s Napping, and Scribble. Her books have been nominated for many prestigious awards, including the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, Mr. Christie’s Award, Chocolate Lily, Shining Willow, Blue Spruce and the Governor General’s Award. She lives with her family, and many backyard squirrels, in Toronto, Ontario. Visit her online at

Ruth Ohi's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“The simple, rhyming text is brought to life by Ruth Ohi’s charming watercolour illustrations. This sweet and playful story is good for one-on-one sharing. Children will enjoy dreaming up imaginary adventures of their own.”—Resource Links, 12/06

Librarian Reviews

The Couch Was a Castle

Ruth Ohi, the award-winning illustrator of over 40 children’s books, has created two new picture books, Clara and the Bossy and The Couch Was a Castle featuring guinea pig characters and aimed at primary aged children.

The Couch Was a Castle is a lighthearted read aloud in which two playful youngsters make the couch into a variety of settings for their games. There are ten rhyming scenarios, with straightforward vocabulary. During these times of video games and MP3 players, this amusing book depicts creative ways for readers to play. This book would be a great writing starter for primary students, who could use their imaginations to discover new ways that a couch could be used during playtime.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2006. Vol.29 No. 4.

The Couch Was a Castle

Wild cowboys, fierce pirates… Burt and his brother play all kinds of pretend games on their couch. But when some couch-bound theatrics end in tears, it’s up to Burt to rescue the day.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

Other titles by Ruth Ohi