The House That Witchy Built

( 1 )


Children will creak, clap, flap, and rattle along to this story of Witchy's house and the creepy creatures that live inside. A ghost, a bat, a cat, and a skeleton are only a few of the characters haunting the house. Illustrated with exquisitely detailed cut-paper and collage, this Halloween tale invites interaction through repetition, onomatopoeia, and infectious rhyme.

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Children will creak, clap, flap, and rattle along to this story of Witchy's house and the creepy creatures that live inside. A ghost, a bat, a cat, and a skeleton are only a few of the characters haunting the house. Illustrated with exquisitely detailed cut-paper and collage, this Halloween tale invites interaction through repetition, onomatopoeia, and infectious rhyme.

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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

  • ISBN-13: 9781589809659
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/7/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,011,029
  • Age range: 3 months - 5 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dianne de Las Casas is an award-winning author, storyteller, recording artist, and founder of the celebrated November Is Picture Book Month initiative. She hunts and pecks a good story everywhere she goes. Her work has earned rave reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus. She performs worldwide at schools, conferences, and special events and is the author of many picture books with Pelican, including Mama's Bayou, The House That Witchy Built, and Blue Frog: The Legend of Chocolate. She lives with her family in Harvey, Louisiana.

Illustrator Holly Stone-Barker graduated with a BFA in communications design from Pratt Institute in New York. She works as a freelance illustrator and enjoys teaching. Stone-Barker's colorful illustrations are created with a variety of different papers that she finds in her travels. Some of her other titles with Pelican include Blue Frog: The Legend of Chocolate and The Little "Read" Hen. She lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with her husband and two children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The perfect Halloween story

    Have you ever been to the house that Witchy built? No? Well, then, lucky you because you get to meet Witchy, peek inside her house to meet her cat (and bat!), and see all the neat and scary things that live nearby in this delightful new Halloween book. The House That Witchy Built is set to the tune of The House That Jack Built and this tale is definitely one that is meant to be sung! With its rhyming tune and noises that can be made to accompany that text included (in parentheses throughout), this story just begs to have kids participate in the telling: /This is the ghost (boo! boo!)/ That spooked the bat (flap, flap)/ That landed on the cat (meow, meow)/ That lived in the house (creak, creak)/ That Witchy built (clap, clap, clap, clap)/ The illustrations are bright and cheerful and not at all scary (little pumpkins won't be a bit frightened to read this book). And while on the topic of illustrations, it should be added that the illustrator, Holly Stone-Barker, has chosen to use a cut-paper and collage technique that really gives this book a unique touch. Quill says: The perfect story to get young ghosts and goblins in the mood for Halloween.

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