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What happened in the house that Jack built? It all started with the cheese that lay in the house that Jack built. And then came the rat that ate the cheese and the cat who killed the rat. Caldecott Medalawinning author and illustrator Simms Taback brings his distinctive humor and creativity to the beloved story of Jack and the house that he built.
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About the Author

Simms Taback grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Cooper Union. He has worked as an art director and a graphic designer, and has taught at the School of Visual Arts and Syracause University. He has illustrated many children's books, including I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (Viking), Spacy Riddles, Snakey Riddles, Buggy Riddles, and Fishy Riddles (all written by Katy Hall and lIsa Eisenberg, Dial).His work has won many awards, including the Caldecott Honor Award Medal for I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book.A father of three and grandfather of three, Mr. Taback lives with his wife in Willow, New Yorkcopyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.


PreS-Gr 2-Taback is very, very clever. He takes the house element of the story literally by turning the endpapers and back cover into newspaper advertisements, offering real estate and tools to fix a house. The adventure inside is downright hilarious. "This is the cheese that lay in the house" elicits an entire page on which various cheeses are not only named but also labeled as to their aroma or lack of it. Every page contains a variety of tongue-in-cheek references that may go over the heads of some kids but those who get them will love them. The illustrator creates additional drama with strong color. He uses stark black backgrounds for the house painted in bright jewel tones. Dark colors, such as navy and deep green, lay the groundwork for each of the characters. The rat, the cat, the dog, etc., all have their own pages and their names are formed by letters cut from newspapers. Children will love this book, and it's a natural for storyhour. This is the version every library should have.-Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Taback puts a new house on the market and hits the nail on the head with this boisterous rollicking version. ("Booklist", starred review) Downright hilarious . . . Children will love this book. (School Library Journal, starred review) Taback puts a new house on the market and hits the nail on the head with this boisterous rollicking version. (Booklist, starred review)

Caldecott Medalist Taback (Joseph Had a Little Overcoat) offers a spirited interpretation of this cumulative rhyme. From the very start as endpapers reveal a variety of pencil-drawn houses with yellowing real estate ads as captions the artist fills these busy pages with abundant details and diversions. The first spread introduces Jack's home on the left, with the text on the right, and the word "house" in eye-popping collage type. Ancillary images and asides accompany the vividly hued mixed-media illustrations and hand-lettered text that introduce the invading characters. On the spread announcing the cheese, for example, Taback reveals nine varieties (one of which "lay in the house that Jack built") and ranks them according to their pungency ("Not so smelly"; "Really stinky"). Superimposed on the image of "the cow with the crumpled horn" are labels indicating its parts (tail, hoof, udder) as well as the anatomical sources of some kid-pleasing delicacies (meatballs, Big Mac, etc.). As previous characters move to the right of each spread, they (and the growing text) begin to crowd out the house itself. Taback slips himself into the tale at its end (wearing a beret bearing the words "Guess who?"), applying the finishing touches to a picture that gathers the entire cast of characters. A zany and fun take on this 18th-century classic. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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