This Is My House

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his familiar, child-like style of naive watercolor and pencil illustration, Dorros attempts a picture-book overview of houses worldwide. More scattershot and larger in scope than last season's The House I Live In by Isadore Seltzer which focused only on America, Dorros's work includes 22 dwellings in such diverse locales as Turkey, Norway and Samoa. Unfortunately, the small type identifying each location is frequently difficult to make out, and the short paragraph paired with each drawing offers very little factual information. Bolivia, for example, merits only two brief sentences: ``I live in the high mountains, where there are few trees. We built our house out of stone.'' On each page the phrase ``This is my house'' appears in that region's language (though it is never identified) and is both translated and transliterated into English. Teachers embracing whole language may find this an effective trade surrogate for traditional sources on shelter, or a useful starting point for children's own explorations of their communities. However, it's hard to predict much recreational use for this essentially curriculum-driven survey. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
When the children Arthur Dorros features describe their places of residence and exclaim "This Is My House" in their native tongue, each phrase is respelled to help in the pronunciation. A cave in Turkey, yurt in Mongolia, and boat in Thailand are among the twenty homes portrayed by the author/illustrator. Have children describe the places, other than their current home, in which they've spent a night or two-camping sites, for example, a trailer, a car, or relative's house-and tell what they liked best about the experience.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- Readers and young listeners take a worldwide trip to see and learn about people's houses of all descriptions. The spectrum is broad, and the treatment provides historical and sociological backgrounds in a most enlightening manner. There is unlimited value in the succinct, interesting text and pictures that ``show and tell'' just how and why these shelters are built. Varied lifestyles, climates, and available materials for construction are basic considerations wherever one lives, and young readers with access to this engaging book will readily grasp the concept. With few exceptions, each house is shown on a single page, accompanied by brief explanatory text. The bright, pleasing watercolors have enough detail to catch and hold attention, and children get a real feel for the locale by scanning these scenes for the landscape, people, and, in some cases, their occupations. In addition to providing engaging illustrations and narrative, Dorros includes the phrase for ``This is my house'' in its appropriate language as well as its phonetic pronunciation. The name of each country appears with the pictures. Attractive endpapers repeat the main illustrations, labeled by country. This is just waiting for a good browsing session, or for use as a supplement in a social-studies unit. Cram your classroom with models! --Mary Lou Budd, Milford South Elementary School, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590453028
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.82 (w) x 11.41 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    Great Teaching Tool

    This is a wonderful multicultural text that depicts the life style of many different cultures around the world. The author even shows a family living in their car which is not usually depicted in children's literature. While many children in the US are not exposed to this on a regular basis it is helpful for them to understand that some people do live out of cars. The author realizes that most american children are able to recognize the typical american homes but are not aware of the diversity of homes that surround them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2004

    Great discussion starter!

    My children (ages 3 and 6) enjoyed this immensely. We are about to vacation overseas and this book tied into those future adventures, as well as our past travels and the various international festivals (school, church, community, UNICEF) we've taken part in. I found it a fun challenge to pronounce the foreign phrases on each page. I am disappointed in the review by another parent who perhaps didn't read the disclaimer at the front of the book: 'The houses pictured ... are not the only types to be found in the respective countries. In any country, many types of housing can be found.' I was glad to have a chance to discuss 'why some people live in cars' and 'what do you think that would be like?' with my kids. Many Americans lead sheltered lives (no pun intended), but we don't have to revel in it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2004

    The author must not like America.

    The book is correct in pointing out the diversity of different environment's and their houses. However the author is incorrect by showing the picture of the normal house in America as a family living in a car. I do not know if the author does not like living in the United States, but not every family lives in a car. I can only imagine that a child would either feel bad about the family living in a car or laugh hysterically at the notion of such stupidity. This is not one of the author's best books.

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