Author: Chris Van Dusen
Illustrator: Chris Van Dusen
Publication Date: October 25, 2012
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: The much-anticipated follow-up to the E. B. White Award-winning picture book If I Built a Car.
In If I Built a Car, imaginative Jack dreamed up a whimsical fantasy ride that could do just about anything. Now he's back and ready to build the house of his dreams, complete with a racetrack, flying room, and gigantic slide. Jack's limitless creativity and infectious enthusiasm will inspire budding young inventors to imagine their own fantastical designs.
Chris Van Dusen's vibrant illustrations marry retro appeal with futuristic style as he, once again, gives readers a delightfully rhyming text that absolutely begs to be read aloud.
What I Think: Some books are excellent mentor texts for helping students to start to imagine their own stories. A teacher recently e-mailed me to ask for ideas that might help students identify topics to write about. I love brainstorming writing territories because there are often many topics students are experts in but when the time comes to sit down and write those topics are elusive. If I Built a House is a book that students can easily listen to with their writer's notebooks open, ready to jot down ideas. They might hear something fun from the book that they can elaborate upon later in their writing or they might come up with something amazing they would create if they were to build a house. This is a great opportunity to practice descriptive writing, helping the reader imagine what their room or house might look like. I would also encourage students to draw their room or their house to help them brainstorm what to write about or to illustrate what they have written.
My kids loved this book and asked for it over and over after we first read it. The illustrations are fun and the story definitely encourages creativity and helps students to think, "What if?" This book is a great opportunity to open up kids brains to possibilities and to encourage them to be open to ideas.
Read Together: Grades K - 3
Read Alone: Grades K - 4
Read With: If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen, Journey by Aaron Becker, If I Had a Dragon by Tom and Amanda Ellery, For Just One Day by Laura Leuck
Snatch of Text:
"Jack, in the backyard, said to his mother,
This house is OK, but it's like any other.
It's boxy and boring and basically bland.
It's nothing at all like the house I have planned."Writing Prompts: Describe a room or a house you would love to have so that your reader can imagine it.
Topics Covered: Creativity, Enthusiasm