If I Built a HouseI’m quickly becoming a pretty big fan of Chris Van Dusen, and admittedly, I probably haven’t even read half of the books he’s written and/or illustrated. Circus Ship is a classic in some people’s minds, but I have to admit that I think I like the pair of If I Built a … books even better. The first of these, If I Built a Car was released several years back, and the copy I borrowed from the local library is pretty well worn (it’s been borrowed many times before – a good thing). My feeling is that If I Built a House may be even better. Written in spectacular rhyme, with a dash of zaniness, Van Dusen tells the story of a little boy who’s come up with the most extraordinarily original design for both a car and a house respectively.

If I Built a House & If I Built a Car
are rated
Renew Them Again & Again!

The words flow smoothly, the rhythm dances seamlessly, and equally as wonderful are Van Dusen’s illustrations. Set in a 1950’s style world, he manages to both describe and depict dazzling futuristic contraptions that only the most imaginative mind could come up with. From flying, racetrack, and fish tank rooms to a jet-engine-propelled, robot-driven, blueberry-muffin-exhaust-smelling car, Van Dusen’s rhyme’s roll and leave you wanting more.

If I Built a House

What’re you gonna build next, Chris?


Borrow. Read. Return. Repeat.