Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Bonnie Verburg
Illustrator: Mark Teague
Publisher: Orchard Books
Jack built a tree house by the sea, but then many animals come to the tree house with jack. First it’s a fly, then a lizard, then a parrot, a cat, and so on. They have all come to hear Jack read a book. This particular book is about a boy who lives in a tree house by the sea and all of the animals are his friends. Starting with a twist on the familiar story of “the house that Jack built,” the story takes on its own identity in Jack’s tree house.
Unlike the nursery rhyme, this book starts out repeating the animals, but soon tells its own story without the repetition of every item, although some things are occasionally repeated. Because of this, the rhyme and rhythm loses its pattern at some points in the book. The illustrations of the animals and the tree house are colorful and fun, but the loss of the poetic form of the text takes away from the book’s impact, particularly when the book is read aloud.