Told in both rhyme and informational text, The House That George Built by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Rebecca Bond is a picture book that explains how our first president, George Washington, oversaw the building of the house that every president who has come after him has lived in.
I have to admit my expectations were not high when I first saw this book. After all, many children’s books have “constructed” their text on the old rhyme “This is the House that Jack Built.” I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that Suzanne Slade has created a dual text account, with informational text on the left page and the building rhyme on the right page. It works well, because it can be used in a number of ways, depending on the age and interest level of the audience.
History buffs are going to enjoy the informational text, as well as the sections in the back matter. The author includes many details about the White House in “The Changing President’s House,” more about George Washington in the “Author’s Note,” and “Sources” and “Resources to Learn More.” I was surprised to learn that the original design was for three stories, but was changed to two when there was a shortage of building materials.
Rebecca Bond’s watercolor illustrations hit the right note, giving a sense of place and time.
With President’s Day coming up February 18, 2013, this would be a great book to have on hand to commemorate our first president. It is both fun and educational.
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Charlesbridge (July 1, 2012)
Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.
Today’s round-up is at Hope Is The Word.