Whose House?
Author: Barbara Seuling; Illustrator: Kay Chorao
Pages: 32 pages
Publisher/Date: Gulliver Books/Harcourt/2004
ISBN: 0152163476
Age Levels: 3-7

Book Review

While sitting in the woods near his house, a young boy envisions the various types of dwellings that serve as homes for animals.
A lodge of twigs is a beaver's digs,
where he can be
with his family.

It's fine for beavers . . .
" . . . but not for me!" he tells us as we turn the page to find him trapped in tangle of twigs. Further on in the book we read, "Brown bats dwell in a pine hotel, / feet over head— / no need for a bed! / It's fine for bats . . ." Again we turn the page to find
. . . the little boy hanging upside down on a tree limb among the bats while he exclaims "but not for me!"

After a day of imagining all kinds of abodes from logs to hives to sycamore trees, our young protagonist makes his way home. With its red roof and little light and fluffy cat it welcomes the little boy into the cozy interior where he finds his dad waiting by the fire and his "warm little bed" and the books he's read. A fine and fitting ending for this charming, lyrical tale.

The text flows wonderfully and the print is clear, black, and large—perfect for beginning readers. The illustrations, done in watercolor, gouache, and pen-and-ink by the supremely talented Kay Chorao are picture perfect.

Classroom Experience: Whose House? is, of course, a predictable/pattern book. It is also a super choice for story hour. When we read the book to a group of kinders, they quickly learned the pattern and were eager to shout, "But not for me!" in the appropriate places. We also discussed the question found on the back of the book, "What makes your house just right for you?"

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2005 Education Oasis http://www.educationoasis.com

About the Author

Barbara Seuling loves homes so much that she has two: a city apartment and a country cottage. She mainly lives in her New York City apartment, but she keeps a warm little bed and books that she's read at both of her homes. Ms. Seuling has written more than fifty books for children, including Spring Song, Winter Lullaby, and the Robert series. You may visit the author's invitingly homey website.

About the Illustrator

Kay Chorao had a very difficult time researching the illustrations for this book. After a long week of sleeping in logs, on tree branches, and in the woods, she was very grateful to go home to the New York City apartment she shares with her husband. Ms. Chorao has illustrated more than sixty books for children, including her own Pig and Grow and The Baby's Lap Book.