April 19, 2018

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The House that Zack Built by Alison Murray | SLJ Review

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redstarMurray, Alison. The House that Zack Built. illus. by Alison Murray. 32p. Candlewick. Feb. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763678449.thehousethatzackbuild

PreS-K –Murray brings back Zack, an easygoing mop-haired boy, and his super-cute dog, Rufus, from Hickory Dickory Dog (Candlewick, 2014). This version of the cumulative rhyme preserves—even possibly enhances—the bounce and sway of the original Mother Goose favorite. The trouble starts with a farmyard fly, and an engaging tale ensues: “This is the cat/that stalked the fly/that BUZZED on by,/over the house that Zack built.” The rest of the tale involves a pitcher of cream, a sleeping dog, some runaway lambs, and a happy ending. No harm is done, not even to the fly. The colorful, catchy illustrations are high-contrast with large, readable text and lively action (including the wiggly path of the fly) on every page. VERDICT Pair this title with Simms Taback’s This Is the House that Jack Built (Putnam, 2002) for a storytime filled with fun cumulative tales.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2015 issue.