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This Is the House That Jack Built Paperback – November 18, 2004


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This Is the House That Jack Built + There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (November 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142402001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142402009
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Caldecott Medalist Taback (Joseph Had a Little Overcoat) offers a spirited interpretation of this cumulative rhyme. From the very start as endpapers reveal a variety of pencil-drawn houses with yellowing real estate ads as captions the artist fills these busy pages with abundant details and diversions. The first spread introduces Jack's home on the left, with the text on the right, and the word "house" in eye-popping collage type. Ancillary images and asides accompany the vividly hued mixed-media illustrations and hand-lettered text that introduce the invading characters. On the spread announcing the cheese, for example, Taback reveals nine varieties (one of which "lay in the house that Jack built") and ranks them according to their pungency ("Not so smelly"; "Really stinky"). Superimposed on the image of "the cow with the crumpled horn" are labels indicating its parts (tail, hoof, udder) as well as the anatomical sources of some kid-pleasing delicacies (meatballs, Big Mac, etc.). As previous characters move to the right of each spread, they (and the growing text) begin to crowd out the house itself. Taback slips himself into the tale at its end (wearing a beret bearing the words "Guess who?"), applying the finishing touches to a picture that gathers the entire cast of characters. A zany and fun take on this 18th-century classic. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

reSchool-Grade 2-Taback is very, very clever. He takes the house element of the story literally by turning the endpapers and back cover into newspaper advertisements, offering real estate and tools to fix a house. The adventure inside is downright hilarious. "This is the cheese that lay in the house" elicits an entire page on which various cheeses are not only named but also labeled as to their aroma or lack of it. Every page contains a variety of tongue-in-cheek references that may go over the heads of some kids but those who get them will love them. The illustrator creates additional drama with strong color. He uses stark black backgrounds for the house painted in bright jewel tones. Dark colors, such as navy and deep green, lay the groundwork for each of the characters. The rat, the cat, the dog, etc., all have their own pages and their names are formed by letters cut from newspapers. Children will love this book, and it's a natural for storyhour. This is the version every library should have.
Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Simms Taback grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Cooper Union. He has worked as an art director and a graphic designer, and has taught at the School of Visual Arts and Syracause University. He has illustrated many children's books, including I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (Viking), Spacy Riddles, Snakey Riddles, Buggy Riddles, and Fishy Riddles (all written by Katy Hall and lIsa Eisenberg, Dial). His work has won many awards, including the Caldecott Honor Award Medal for I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book. A father of three and grandfather of three, Mr. Taback lives with his wife in Willow, New York copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

A colorful, busy, fun illustrated retelling of a classic tale.
D. Lowery
We read the first one to death... and he has been asking for it ever since!
H. Robinson
The artwork is so cute and so much fun for both adults and children.
J. Jackson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Lowery on October 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A colorful, busy, fun illustrated retelling of a classic tale. Each page bursts with so many details it would be difficult to list them all here, although I'll try. For example, on the cheese "that lay in the house that Jack built" page, ten cheeses are listed with the level of "smell" they give off, and on the "cat that ate the rat" page, many different types of felines are shown with a description of their personalities--and those are just the start of what is on each page. How does this tie in with the story? I'm not sure, but it doesn't really matter--it's so much fun finding all the details as well as hearing the repeating chant of the story over again makes for a fine time reading. Very fun and should keep a little one busy. I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I got this book originally from the library for my son who was then just turning 2. We absolutely loved it. It is the kind of book that doesn't get old no matter how many times we read it together. He is not nearly 3, and he loves to sit down and read (recite) this book. Everyone who sees it loves the illustrations and the story itself. One of the touches that I like the most is the lettering. It all appears as a collage, making it very fun to look at. 5 very enthusiastic stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on October 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As Simms Taback tells the reader at the end of this rollicking, fun-filled adventure: "This Is The House That Jack Built, a favorite rhyme for children for several centuries, was first published in 1755 and probably derived from an ancient Hebrew chant in the 16th century. It was illustrated by Randolph Caldecott in 1878." And now this old and popular chain of events story gets the brilliant Taback treatment. Each clever and creative two page spread dazzles with vibrant color, marvelous, eye-popping detail, and witty asides. Children will revel in all the joyous, manic fun as they linger and explore each intriguing page, finding something new and exciting each time they open the book. Perfect for youngsters 4-8, This Is The House That Jack Built is a timeless masterpiece the whole family can read, share, and laugh over together, and a picture book no home should be without.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Telemachus on September 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You can't go wrong with anything written and/or illustrated by Simms Taback. We bought this originally because I fondly remembered the story from my own childhood, but this surpasses that earlier edition. It is beautifully illustrated and captivating for our kids. They especially like it when you speed read it to them!! We've worn out our first version, but will be ordering another one. My Highest Recommendation!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H. Robinson on November 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
This will be our second copy of the book! We read the first one to death... and he has been asking for it ever since!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J&B's mom on October 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
My son has loved this book since he was 1 & 1/2 years old. We have looked everywhere for it so we were very happy to find it. He is 6 now and he still loves this book. He even reads it to his 2 yr old brother. A day don't pass that we don't read it at least once. The only thing I would change with this purchase is I wish it was hard backed but it stands up to my boys great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dazee Shaffer on July 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorites from my childhood. Bought it for my kids, my daughter said she could look at it all day! I love all of his books! So many little extra's in the illustrations!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this rhyme as a child and would read it over and over so I bought this to pass down to my two sons. The illustrations are great and add a fun quirky element to the book. My son's especially love to be read the page that describes all the different cheeses Jack might have in his house. They crack up laughing at the description of the different cheeses, ie stinky and gooey! My only quirk with the book is that the whole rhyme should be read with no interuptions to get the full effect and it's hard to do so when they want to stop and talk about the illustrations. After you've read it to them a few times and let them explore the pictures then you can go back and read it all in one go. This is a marvelous rhyme to share with children.
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