The House That Witchy Built

The House That Witchy Built

5.0 1
by Dianne De Las Casas, Holly Stone-Barker

This spooky take on The House That Jack Built features a witch, pumpkin, skeleton, and much more. Young readers can get in on the act thanks to sound prompts such as "cackle," "flap," and "boo!"  See more details below


This spooky take on The House That Jack Built features a witch, pumpkin, skeleton, and much more. Young readers can get in on the act thanks to sound prompts such as "cackle," "flap," and "boo!"

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—"Creak, Creak." Here lies the haunted house version of "The House That Jack Built." Cumulative verses and onomatopoeia build on a lighthearted Halloween theme (the sound of each object or character is represented in text next to its image) while a collection of cut- and torn-paper collages and variation of colorful fonts create textured and detailed cartoons. Readers may simply search for the smiling spider on each page or follow the tombstones for a bit of graveside humor, e.g., "RIP—Imma Star, who lived life with a sparkle." Repetition of each verse—a creaking house, black spider, booing ghost, flapping bat, rolling pumpkin, rattling skeleton, and a genial green witch (warts included)—completes the usual list of spooky images accompanying an adventure shared by a boy (with finger in nose), a scolding mom, and an affectionate dad. An additional purchase with a solid language-arts connection for libraries in need of seasonal fare.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
Kirkus Reviews

Can a picture book inspired by "The House that Jack Built" do anything new? Storyteller de las Casas gives it her all in converting one of her favorite stories to the printed page.

Pairing sound effects or movements to each introduced line of text results in a lively, interactive experience that begs any audience to join the fun. Beginning with "This is the house (creak, creak) / That Witchy built (clap, clap, clap, clap)," it will soon have readers meowing with a cat, flapping with the bat, booing with a ghost and rattling like a skeleton. It all makes sense until the pumpkin rolls in and the parentheses prompt a "(yum, yum)," but readers will cruise right along anyway. A boy is introduced with "(yuck, yuck)" because he is picking his nose, poor mom wags her finger as she says "(no, no)" and dad plants a "(smooch, smooch)" on mom. The finale " the / witch (cackle, cackle) / That spooked / them all / (cackle, cackle)." The collage illustrations are truly impressive. Stone-Barker manipulates various papers to create palpable textures for the house's roof, swishy broom, furry cat and transparent ghost. One quibble—on several pages there are headstones with clever epitaphs, but the same ones are repeated, losing an opportunity to inject further humor into the romp. That aside, Witchy definitely rocks this house!

Use to get the (Halloween) party started.(Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 Months to 5 Years

Meet the Author

Dianne de Las Casas is a celebrated author, storyteller, and recording artist. Her CDs Jump, Jiggle & Jam and World Fiesta have been named School Library Journal "Audio of the Week" recordings. She performs arts-in-education programs and residencies at schools, libraries, festivals, museums, and special events and is a frequent presenter at the International Reading Association, American Library Association, and other literary and education conferences.

Holly Stone-Barker is a cut-paper and collage artist and graduate from the Pratt Institute in New York City. A former teacher, she has experience working for various design firms, creating logos, coloring books, and magazine covers. She lives in Zachary, Louisiana.

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