Jack's House by Mike Wohnoutka, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Jack's House

Jack's House

3.3 6
by Mike Wohnoutka
     
 
Construction-equipment loving boys will adore this humourous twist on the classic nursery rhyme. Someone has done a lot of work building a house. Someone has been operating a cement mixer, driving a bulldozer, and using a forklift to build walls, frame windows, and nail down a roof. Someone has built a big, strong home for Jack. But is this the house that Jack built?

Overview

Construction-equipment loving boys will adore this humourous twist on the classic nursery rhyme. Someone has done a lot of work building a house. Someone has been operating a cement mixer, driving a bulldozer, and using a forklift to build walls, frame windows, and nail down a roof. Someone has built a big, strong home for Jack. But is this the house that Jack built? One tired puppy dog disagrees in this story about getting what you work for.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Delivers in spades."

"A wonderful twist on an age-old rhyme....This beguiling book will be a hit both at storytimes and in circulating collections, for those who really want to know how Jack's house got built."

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Beil's take-off on "The House That Jack Built" is narrated by his perky, anthropomorphic dog Max, who offers "the real story—and pictures to prove it." He is the one supervising the bulldozer "that scraped the land," driving the backhoe "that dug the cellar," "smoothing the cement," involved in all the actual steps necessary to build a house. The cumulative tale grows with the brick walls, the windows, the shingled roof, the planting of trees, and the final hanging of the hammock for Jack to relax in. Then, in comes "the dog who did all the work," for the humorous surprise ending. Wohnoutka uses acrylic paints to fill the double-page scenes with the machines. His concern for details gives the visual sequences the look of a catalog demonstration of the tasks each accomplishes. The naturalistic illustrations have subtle humorous overtones, while Max, very busy in his overalls, plaid shirt, tool belt and yellow hardhat, remains a "nice guy" through it all. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

A wonderful twist on an age-old rhyme. This book actually focuses on the building of the house, and the many hands (or paws) that it takes to make it. You see, while Jack the homeowner (a human) takes credit for its construction, it is actually Max, a hardworking general contractor dog, and a number of other skilled canine laborers, who do all the work. So at the end of the story, it's easy to understand why Max gets a little upset at Jack resting on his laurels at the finished site. What he does to Jack results in a laugh-out-loud moment and a neat flip of the ongoing power struggle between builder and owner. Wohnoutka's full-page acrylic paintings are large scale, but are also full of small details for readers to enjoy. The vehicles that drive up to the site delivering materials and excavating are rugged and tough, appealing to the construction enthusiasts, but the soaring house is the centerpiece of the story, and Max's care in building it is obvious. This beguiling book will be a hit both at storytimes and in circulating collections, for those who really want to know how Jack's house got built.-Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ

Kirkus Reviews
There is a little joke lurking for readers in Beil's twist on the classic cumulative tale of the house that Jack built. This is not to diminish the pleasantly steamrolling construction work or the agreeable narrative presence of Max the dog, whom readers learn honchoed the effort while Jack busied himself elsewhere. Max introduces readers to bulldozers and backhoes and forklifts, and a handful of trucks: cement, rack, boom and dump. These great machines loom on the page, but Wohnoutka has beveled the edges to make them as soft as sponge cake and just as desirable, as they shimmer in the heat of a summer afternoon. The text chugs along with no surprises-"This is the van / that brought the hammock, cozy and snug / where the trees were planted / and the roof was nailed / and the windows were framed . . . "-until Jack gets his comeuppance and Max gets his just deserts. This book was built for those youngsters with a jones for trucks and other big wheels, and it delivers in spades. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823419135
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/2008
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,224,770
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Karen Magnuson Beil is a former reporter for Chicago's City News Bureau and has also worked as an editor and science writer. She has written several books for children; including "Fire in Their Eyes". A New England native, she now lives in New York State with her family.

Mike Wohnoutka has been creating art since his childhood. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, he has illustrated "Cowboy Sam and Those Confounded Secrets", "The Foot-Stomping Adventures of Clementine Sweet", as well as a number of other books for children. He and his family live in Minneapolis.

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