THE HOUSE BOOK by Keith DuQuette


Age Range: 4 - 8
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DuQuette’s dissection of the house, though stylistically charming, comes up short, posing a question about how a house becomes a place to live in, and never really answering it. Some of the components and workings of an average home are presented in a simple, versed explanation’so simple that it is either contrived or lazy in conception: “Step by step, up and down,/stairs will get us off the ground./You could say that climbing flights/helps us reach much higher heights!” He introduces the main elements—floors, walls, windows, doors, and roof’separately, stifling any notions of their interrelatedness. An otherwise grand, two-page cutaway illustration calls forth as many questions as it answers, e.g., where is the plumbing, and how do the occupants reach the attic? The text attempts to broaden the equation in the closing pages: “In lively cities and quiet woods,/houses make our neighborhoods./Houses of all shapes and styles,/from town to town for miles and miles.” Even there, the houses are rendered in a small scale, making the differences difficult to discern. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-399-23183-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1999