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The House that Witchy Built by Dianne de Las Casas – Review and Giveaway

August 26, 2011

This cute, cute Halloween addition by Dianne de Las Casas  and illustrated by Holly Stone-Barker is a take on “The House that Jack Built”.  I know, there are a thousand and one stories built on this framework, but there must be a reason. When Halloween rolled around in my library, the perennial favorite of my kindergarteners (and 1st and 2nd graders) was The House that Drac Built by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. Not only because of the myriad of scary creatures but because of the repetition, repetition, repetition. I can’t speak for the rest of the world but my students always LOVED saying the story with me. Ah, the sneakiness of new vocabulary deftly dropped into a familiar chant.

But I digress … The House that Witchy Built (Pelican Publishing, 2011) delivers on its promise of Halloween fun, including sound effects for each story element. Between the creaking, rattling, flapping, cackling and smooching – yes, I said smooching – the reader will hardly be able to hear himself above the din. Holly Stone-Barker uses cut paper and collage for the artwork. Have I ever said how much I like this technique? Well, alot, especially for lower elementary stories. Just look at the cover – kids are going to pick that right up – and every page is just as inviting.

I’ll be giving my copy away to one lucky person. Leave a comment on this post by September 2nd and you’ll be included in my random drawing. If this is your first comment to my blog, the comment will not post until I approve it. This is a nice addition to your Halloween cache. And if you don’t have a copy of The House that Drac Built, it is worth locating, it’s still in print. Share the contest with anyone who might be interested.

Genres: Elementary, Early Childhood, Rhyming, Folk tales.

Things to like about this book: Fantastic illustrations! Audience participation is built right in. Fun story that is campy – including corny headstone sayings. The scare factor is very low so this is appropriate for the youngest school children.

Audience: Preschool and early elementary.

Reviewed from: Hardcover provided by publisher.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Billie Sanders permalink
    August 26, 2011 4:09 pm

    Can’t wait to see this book!! I had the opportunity to attend a workshop by the author (in Kansas) and I loved her. She was the best speaker we’ve ever had for our librarians workshop! We used lots of her ideas in the Summer Reading program at Caney! Her books are always awesome!

  2. August 26, 2011 5:07 pm

    It looks adorable! I met Dianne at the SCBWI Summer Conference, and I’d love to have one of her books!

  3. August 26, 2011 5:29 pm

    Can’t wait for the book to come out! I absolutely love her! Was so excited to meet her when she did Summer Reading Workshops in Kansas!!!

    • Donna St. Cyr permalink*
      August 27, 2011 1:13 pm

      I know Dianne really gets around with her workshops and storytelling. She has a great command of the audience – we had her visit several years ago at my school and the kids really loved it.

      Check back after the contest end date to see if you’ve won – good luck!

  4. jamie permalink
    August 26, 2011 6:15 pm

    I saw this book at a workshop. It is so cute. I put it at the top of my must have list this fall.

  5. August 26, 2011 6:35 pm

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this one, if it is anything like her other books, then me and my students are in for a Halloween treat!!!

  6. Penny permalink
    August 26, 2011 10:38 pm

    I feel very fortunate to have been given a preview of this book by the one and only…Dianne! An adorable, enjoyable story!

  7. Lisa Daves permalink
    August 27, 2011 2:51 pm

    I am looking forward to reading this book to my three year old and letting my six year old read it to me. I know the illustrations will be magnificent!

  8. August 27, 2011 3:18 pm

    Great review. I own Mama’s Bayou and my kids love it! This one looks just as good!

  9. Tammie Phillips permalink
    August 27, 2011 6:37 pm

    Looking forward to this book. Dianne is a great story teller and Holly is a very talented illustrater and a wonderful person to know. I cherish my authorgraphed copy of Mama’s Bayou.

    Tammie Phillips

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