The House That George Built by Suzanne Slade and Illustrated by Rebecca Bond. Ages 4 – 8 (2.5 year old son likes it). Charlesbridge Publishing. July 2012. 48 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1580892629. Nonfiction. $16.95
Quick Summary: Once upon a time there was a newly forming country with a new president and he DIDN’T HAVE A HOUSE. (He had a personal house, but not an official government house.) So he spent about $4.9 million dollars (in today’s dollars) and eight years and built The President’s House.
The House That George Built tells the story of the role George Washington played in building The White House. It alternates between paragraphs of facts and a cleverly adapted version of the Mother Goose rhyme, “This is the House That Jack Built.”
Our Experience Reading this Book: I definitely recommend this book for everyone. It’s fun for a two year old and it’s interesting for an adult. It doesn’t even have to be an election year or a president’s birthday to appreciate this book. The illustrations are wonderful and the alternating text between facts and poetry is very well done.
After reading some picture books about George Washington my son can identify George Washington and knows that he was a president and the myth of chopping down a cherry tree. He now knows that George Washington helped build The White House and that The White House is where the president lives. (Not bad for being two.) He’ll happily sit with me while I read this book to him again and again. The repetition in the poetry parts of the story are my son’s favorite and he seems to enjoy finishing the lines.
Before reading this book I knew, but didn’t fully realize, that George Washington never actually lived in Washington, D.C. I had also never thought much about George Washington having to figure out the logistics for building The White House. It shifted some of my long-held notions of what it must have been like when George Washington was president.
At the end of the book there are some great facts about what additions different presidents made to The White House. I found it fascinating.
You know it’s a good picture book when you realize you’re never going to look at someone or something the same way again. I hope you get a chance to check it out.
Where Obtained: Library. Random pick.
FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
- Suzanne Slade: http://www.suzanneslade.com/Welcome.html
- Rebecca Bond: http://www.hmhbooks.com/hmh/site/hmhbooks/authordetails?authorName=Rebecca%20Bond
Some of my Favorite Reviews of this Book:
I’m linking up this post over at:
Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted over at Kidlitfrenzy.com.
Please go visit and hook up a nonfiction picture book review of your own and see other nonfiction picture book recommendations! This is a great resource and Kidlitfrenzy is an amazing blog!
I’m also participating in the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2013. I’ve set my goal for 25 books. This is book 4 of 25 since signing up for the challenge.