This clever little book is perfect for the budding carpenter. It describes, in rhyme, the steps necessary for building a birdhouse for wrens. In addition, each tool or piece of equipment needed is introduced with a drawing, and then that drawing appears whenever the tool is used again. So, even non-readers will soon be able to help in "reading" the book. The simple line drawings are a perfect accompaniment, and reinforce the emphasis on the story's repetition and use of symbols. More than a how-to book, it's a story of a little boy's pride in creating a useful object.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2Another of this team's books, written in the "This Is the House That Jack Built" style. Rebus-filled cumulative verses list the necessary construction materials and tools as a boy sets out to build a birdhouse. Just as the industrious young carpenter is applying blue paint, he is greeted by his mother. She looks at the mess and readers can see that this project has not been authorized. With the help of the dog and cat, the busy narrator puts everything back and wipes up the excess paint. Only then do the child and his mother go out and attach the creation to the tree. "You've built a fine house for the wrens," says Mother. Parker's watercolor, colored-pencil, and pen illustrations are droll extensions of the spare text. The subject is a familiar one and it is handled well; however, the text, forced into the rhyme with rebus format, is a little stiff and awkward.Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME