cover image The House That Jack Built

The House That Jack Built

Emily Bolam. Dutton Books, $14 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44972-0

Bolam's ( The Elephant Child ) exuberant, naive paintings spark this classic cumulative verse. An unsuspecting rat sets in motion a rollicking chain of events--including a shot-gun wedding--when it stops at Jack's new house to nibble some malt. Mayhem rules supreme, and since the final lines do not offer a sense of closure, young readers can ponder the silly situations (some a bit dark in their humor) and speculate on what might happen next. Bold swatches of blue, orange and green, often thickly outlined in black and set against ample white backgrounds, sustain the energetic pace. Ages 5-up. (Jan.)