Friday, March 18, 2011

In Front of My House by Marianne Dubuc

One of my favorite things about reading with my kids is finding books in which we can participate together, and Marianne Dubuc's In Front of My House is a really good book for doing just that. It's a circular book, meaning that the book begins and ends in the same way - in a child's house on a hill.

It begins with an unseen child narrator saying, "On little hill, behind a brown fence, under a big oak tree, is..."

You turn the page and see, "My house. In front of my house..." [Turn the page again] "a rosebush. On the rosebush..." The story continues in the same pattern throughout, turning the pages to reveal what's next. At first, it's pretty typical of what you'd see, a bird, a window, the child's bedroom, a sock, etc. Then comes the fairy tale book, and the child's imagination soars. Soon, we're seeing things like a princess, a prince charming (a frog with a crown), the big bad wolf, a vampire, a pirate ship, a lion, a zoo, a shooting star, and more until it eventually gets back to the house on the hill.

What I really love about this book is the anticipation it brings. You have no idea what's going to come up on the next page, and on the first read, my daughter loved to yell out what she saw. After a couple of reads, she knows what's coming next and yells it out before I can even turn the page. In one section of the book, we go inside a dark cave and before I even turn the page, my daughter screams and covers her eyes, hiding from the abominable snowman who is hiding inside the cave. It is so much fun.

I can't forget to mention the illustrations. The book itself is a chunky square book and it's chock full of wonderful, whimsical illustrations that look like the child narrator drew them. Some pictures like the lion are colored in a bit unevenly, giving the appearance that a kid colored it in.

The text and pictures are simple and fun, and kids who can't read or who are just beginning to read get the opportunity to participate in the reading experience. I highly recommend this book for the younger set of children. I can even imagine it being a fun book for an older child to read to a younger child.

Learning concepts: 
  • Grammar - Prepositions 
  • Literacy/Reading - Prediction

Ages: 4-8 | Publisher: Kids Can Press, September 2010 | Source: Review copy from publisher | ISBN: 978-1554536412

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  1. I love the new look! It's so pretty. You are so right about In Front of My House. My family and I discovered this book a few months ago and they loved it so much! It's a great read-aloud book.

  2. Ditto what Vasilly said about this being a great read aloud book, and your prediction tag. I read it to my 4th graders and they loved trying to use clues from the pictures to predict what would come next!

  3. This looks DARLING! Just requested it from the library.

  4. This would be great for my pre-school story hour. Looks to be a wonderful fit.

  5. can you describe the part with the big bad wolf? Thanks so much


  6. I have not read this In Front of My House by Marianne Dubuc, but I gifted to my daughter and she loved it, so I am kind of interested in reading it and to find why she loved it