Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The House That Jill Built

The House That Jill Built

Phyllis Root
Illustrator:  Delphine Durand 
Novelty Book
For ages 3 to 5
Candlewick, 2005   ISBN: 0763610089

 Jill has built a wonderful house for herself and her cat and she is delighted with it. Then Little Jack Horner comes by and he asks for “a room with a pie and a corner.” Jill is not only a very capable house builder; she is also a kind girl and she promptly builds Jack a little room of his own. The problem is that with Little Jack Horner is only the first of many visitors who come knocking on Jill’s door. Soon Old Mother Hubbard, the three little kittens, Little Bo Peep, and many other familiar characters turn up looking for a place to live. For each one, Jill makes a wonderful space, individual and unique.

   By the time the dish and spoon have asked for a room, things are getting very complicated indeed. Jill realizes that there is no room for her in the wonderful house that she has built. Now what is Jill to do?

   This unique twist on the “This is the house that Jack built” rhyme is both interesting and funny. With over seventy doors and windows to open, and two wonderful pop-ups to explore, this novelty book is sure to give young fans of nursery rhymes something to think about. Older readers who enjoy and possibly collect pop-up creations will enjoy it as well, and the folk style art with its off the wall feel will delight readers of all ages.