This cute, cute Halloween addition by Dianne de Las Casas and illustrated by Holly Stone-Barker is a take on “The House that Jack Built”. I know, there are a thousand and one stories built on this framework, but there must be a reason. When Halloween rolled around in my library, the perennial favorite of my kindergarteners (and 1st and 2nd graders) was The House that Drac Built by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. Not only because of the myriad of scary creatures but because of the repetition, repetition, repetition. I can’t speak for the rest of the world but my students always LOVED saying the story with me. Ah, the sneakiness of new vocabulary deftly dropped into a familiar chant.
But I digress … The House that Witchy Built (Pelican Publishing, 2011) delivers on its promise of Halloween fun, including sound effects for each story element. Between the creaking, rattling, flapping, cackling and smooching – yes, I said smooching – the reader will hardly be able to hear himself above the din. Holly Stone-Barker uses cut paper and collage for the artwork. Have I ever said how much I like this technique? Well, alot, especially for lower elementary stories. Just look at the cover – kids are going to pick that right up – and every page is just as inviting.
I’ll be giving my copy away to one lucky person. Leave a comment on this post by September 2nd and you’ll be included in my random drawing. If this is your first comment to my blog, the comment will not post until I approve it. This is a nice addition to your Halloween cache. And if you don’t have a copy of The House that Drac Built, it is worth locating, it’s still in print. Share the contest with anyone who might be interested.
Genres: Elementary, Early Childhood, Rhyming, Folk tales.
Things to like about this book: Fantastic illustrations! Audience participation is built right in. Fun story that is campy – including corny headstone sayings. The scare factor is very low so this is appropriate for the youngest school children.
Audience: Preschool and early elementary.
Reviewed from: Hardcover provided by publisher.