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THE HOUSE IN THE MEADOW by Shutta Crum

THE HOUSE IN THE MEADOW

By Shutta Crum (Author) , Paige Billin-Frye (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8075-3393-9
Publisher: Whitman

Utilizing the device of the familiar rhyme “Over in the Meadow,” this new reconstruction features all the kinds of workers needed to build a house. A couple gets married and what’s next? A house, of course. “Over in the meadow, with a bucket big and fine, / shoveled Charlie with a backhoe and strong diggers 9<\b>. / ‘Dig!’ said Charlie. ‘We dig,’ said the 9<\b>. / So they dug and dumped dirt with a bucket big and fine.” Then counting down with 8 masons, 7 carpenters, 6 well drillers, 5 roofers, 4 plumbers, 3 electricians, 2 painters, and 1 inspector; finally a housewarming party and the couple beams with their own new addition: a baby. The cut-paper pictures are attractive and clearly demonstrate each phase. The rhymes could have been nailed down a bit tighter as some phrasing is a bit clumsy. The numbers in bold type will help kids with the countdown and the story might familiarize preschoolers with kinds of equipment and different procedures that are involved. This could have worked without the poem device as there is little else available in a picture-book format for this young audience other than Byron Barton’s Building a House (1990), but the counting is fun and will give the audience a chance to chime in. (Picture book. 4-7)