Sunday, April 7, 2013

Building Our House, by Jonathan Bean (ages 4-8)

There are times a story fills you with inspiration and love so much that you just have to reach out and share it with a friend. As soon as I read Building Our House, by Jonathan Bean, I knew this was exactly the perfect story for our friend Ry and his family. Recently he asked me if I knew any books to share with his sons who love building things, watching their dad work on construction sites, and plan their own building projects. This book not only shows all the steps of building a house, but it's full of love and warmth in a way you'll want to read it over and over again.
Building Our House
by Jonathan Bean
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013
ages 4-8
available at your local library or on Amazon
* best new book *
A young family buys a plot of land in the country and sets about building their home from the ground up. Right from the beginning, you're brought into the oldest daughter's perspective, and you can feel this family's excitement.
Children will be fascinated by each step of the building process. I just love this picture below, and how the little girl is studying the house plans right along with Mom and Dad. The whole family works together to build their house.
For all the great construction details, this story is ultimately a celebration of a family’s love. The drawings radiate with warmth, as everyone works together through thick or thin. Their friends come from all over to help build the frame. But then the family works piece by piece through the seasons to finish each detail.
Jonathan Bean drew on his own childhood memories to create this story. As he writes in the author's note, his own parents built their own house when he was a small child. The photographs Bean includes help bring this story to the next level - letting kids know that this really can happen, that a family can work hard towards their dreams, and that it takes everyone working together.

So how did Ry and his family like it? It was a huge hit.  Here's what Teyo (age 4) said:
"I like this book because I love building and I want to build a house with my dad."
You just know that this is a book he's going to read over and over again with his family. Fills my heart, this does, knowing how much a book can connect with a kid and his dad.

Read more about Jonathan Bean's process at the Horn Book's Five Questions for Jonathan Bean. See other reviews by Paula at PinkMe, Tasha at Waking Brain Cells, and a starred review at Kirkus.

The images are copyright ©2013 Jonathan Bean, shared with permission from the publisher, Macmillan. The review copy came from our home collection. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2013 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

1 comment:

  1. That's so cool that you're highlighting Poetry Month. My mom was a poet. I can't write poems to save my life but I'm glad you're helping kids appreciate it. Do you think that hip hop is a form a poetry?