cover image The House That George Built

The House That George Built

Suzanne Slade, illus. by Rebecca Bond. Charlesbridge, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58089-262-9

Slade (Climbing Lincoln's Steps) delivers a historical riff on "The House That Jack Built" with this tale of how George Washington oversaw the construction of what would come to be called the White House: "This is the lot,/ that grand, %E2%80%A8scenic spot,/ for the President's House that George built." On most of the right-hand pages, the cumulative verse grows longer, while prose sections at left offer facts about materials, workers, and the house's overall progress as it moves from blueprint to bricks-and-mortar reality; for instance, when the stone supply fell short, "George changed the house plan from three stories to two." In airy watercolor-and-ink illustrations, Bond (In the Belly of an Ox) depicts the stages of construction and captures details of the era's building methods and styles of dress; John and Abigail Adams, the building's first residents, are shown looking around nervously upon moving in ("the plaster walls were still wet, and the winding staircase had only a few steps"). A foreword, author's note, and additional White House facts supply even more details and context to this focused and well-executed project. Ages 6%E2%80%939. (July)