I was going through our books looking for something my son needed for school and realized just how many books we have about building things– homes, cars, flying machines and more. And I thought to myself, “Well, there’s a post right there! ” So here are our favorite books about building!
Creaky Old House: A Topsy-Turvy Tale of a Real Fixer-Upper by Linda Ashman
We love our house in every way-
or did, that is, till yesterday.
Pa was headed out the door
when-CLANG!–the doorknob hit the floor.
This is where all the fun and chaos begins. The family searches everywhere to find a screw to fix the doorknob. When they are unable to find the right screw, they head to Wally’s Hardware Store “that’s Wally’s built in 1910, and never cleaned-not once since then” where they pick up a new doorknob which unfortunately doesn’t fit. So the next stop is “Dorothy’s Door Emporium” for a new door. The new door doesn’t fit either, but leads the family to redesign the house to fit the new door. Then something simple and wonderful happens to solve the family’s problem.
This is my eldest’s favorite. He knows the whole thing by heart. He and his dad read it together and laugh and laugh. The rhymes are wonderful, the pictures so details and fun to look at and the story itself is really, really good!!
If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
Jack, from the backseat, said to his dad,
This car is ok. This car is not bad.
But it’s just a car. Nothing great. Nothing grand.
It’s nothing at all like the car I have planned.
Jack’s car is definitely amazing- with a swimming pool, fish tank, fire place, instant snack bar and exhaust that smells like muffins or roses– what could be better? Well, if the car could go underwater AND fly like an airplane that wouldn’t hurt either. So grab this book, “sit back, relax, stay right where you are. It’s time to reveal [this] spectacular car!”
Another family favorite. The idea of a car that can do all this just fascinates my eldest. I love the retro illustrations and smart rhymes. We are so excited that Van Dusen has written another If I Built Book and we cannot wait until October when it hits the bookstores!
Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beatty
Young Iggy Peck is an architect
and has been since he was two,
when he built a great tower–in only an hour–
with nothing but nappies and glue.
Young Iggy builds a great Sphinx from “dirt clods” and the St. Louis Arch from “pancakes and coconut pies.” He builds churches from fruit and temples from modeling clay. His parents are so proud of their young architect and Iggy continues to build as he grows. That is until he gets to second grade where, Miss Lila Greer, his teacher, has a passionate distaste for anything related to architecture due to being left behind on “architect’s tour of the 95th floor” as a young girl. Miss Greer made Iggy tear down his tower made from chalk with threats of a visit to the principal. And, then, “with no chance to build, his interest was killed. Now second grade was a bore.” Poor Iggy hated school. That is until one day when the class is on a hike and the footbridge collapses. Iggy gathers his classmates and together they build a new bridge from “Boots, tree roots and strings, fruit roll-ups and things (some of which one should not mentioned) were stretched ridge to ridge in a glorious bridge dangling from shoestring suspension.”
This book was one of those “finds” at our local bookstore. I saw it, read it and took it right home. My son immediately liked it. The pictures are wonderful, the rhymes are intelligent and the lesson is important. This is a book all teachers and parents should read to help them remember the importance of honoring the passions of all children.
The Flying Hockey Stick by Jolly Roger Bradfield
Barnaby was a boy who had wanted something for years. He wanted more than anything to fly like a bird. Ever since he could remember, he had been trying to make some sort of machine that would get him off the ground, if only for a few feet.
And finally, Barnaby did it. Using a hockey stick, an electric fan, his mother’s umbrella and an extension cord, he created the “Flying Hockey Stick.” He collected extension cords from all the neighbors, kissed his mother goodbye and set off to fly around the world. Once in flight, Barnaby has all sorts of adventures– he rescues an old woman from a burning building, saves a captain who has fallen off his ship and helps a hunter escape from a pride of hungry lions. When they all return home safely, the old woman promises to bake Barnaby cookies every Tuesday, the sea captain made him a ship in a bottle and the hunter gave him a huge moose head. ”Now there are some people who will tell you that Barnaby just dreamed this adventure.” So now you will have to read the book and decide for yourself.
Playhouse by Robert Munsch
One day Renee went to her father and said, “Pleeeeease make me a playhouse! Our house is way out in the middle of the woods , and I have nobody to play with except my brothers. I need a playhouse.”
And so Renee’s father built her a wonderful playhouse with “real windows and a slide and a ladder and an upstairs and a downstairs.” Renee was happy with her playhouse for a while and then decided that she needed a “play barn” to go with her playhouse. So her mother set to building a play barn for Renee. Now, as you can imagine the play barn was fun for a while, but Renee wanted more and more. She wanted a play cow for her barn and a tractor and bulldozer and finally she asks for a play mommy and a play daddy” and that is when Renee’s parents have had enough and play a little trick on her help her learn a lesson.
Other building books:
- Zoobots by Bruce Whatley
- Edward Built a Rocket by Michael Rack
- Building a House by Byron Barton
- How a House is Built by Gail Gibbons
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