cover image The House That Jack Built

The House That Jack Built

Jeanette Winter. Dial Books for Young Readers, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2524-9

Winter's (My Name Is Georgia) cheerful, acrylic pictures have a folk-art quality well suited to this familiar, cumulative tale, which she supplements with several original verses (an early one places Jack's house on top of a hill and a final verse informs that ""he lives there still""). She handily targets her audience by giving this version a rebus format, making it all the easier for preschoolers to follow along. ""This is the DOG "" for instance, runs at the top of the left-hand page with the cumulative text below, along with a spot illustration of the pooch; the opposite page shows a framed rendering of the dog interacting with the other characters. Each right-hand full-page picture features a cross-section look at the interior of Jack's house and offers a hint about who will next join the lineup (e.g., the muzzle and a hoof of the soon-to-arrive cow is visible at the edge of one illustration). While maintaining an appealing simplicity, Winter's illustrations reveal some diverting goings-on. With its rollicking, repetitive text and picture clues, this is a fine choice for youngsters just beginning to read on their own. Ages 3-6. (May)