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THIS IS OUR HOUSE by Michael Rosen


by Michael Rosen & illustrated by Bob Graham

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: July 1st, 1996
ISBN: 1-56402-870-4
Publisher: Candlewick

 Nine kids drag a cardboard box into a playground, where George immediately takes over: ``This house is mine and no one else is coming in.'' The others try to get past him, but George won't let them inside--and he explains why not: ``This house isn't for girls,'' ``This house isn't for people with glasses,'' etc. After he temporarily vacates the box to go to the bathroom, he finds that the others have declared the house off-limits to ``people with red hair.'' George, who has red hair, has an epiphany: ``This house is for everyone!'' Rosen (A School for Pompey Walker, 1995, etc.) has written a persuasive and entertaining morality play. For all its cadences, the dialogue is pungently realistic, perfectly reflecting the reasoning that goes on among children. The ethnically diverse cast appears against a stark white urban background of high-rise apartment buildings. These unassuming pictures are surprisingly powerful; Graham grays some characters and leaves others in full- color to shift the spotlight from scene to scene, then further emphasizes this theatrical effect by zooming in or pulling back from the action. Overall, it's real cartoon drama. (Picture book. 3-6)