Review Blog

Jul 24 2012

Louise builds a house by Louise Pfanner

cover image

Walker Books, Australia, 2012. ISBN 978 1 921977 75 6.
(Ages: 5+) Highly recommended. Picture book. Humour. Seemingly simple, this tale of Louise building herself a house and following her construction through to the end is most appealing. Each verso (left hand side page) shows the plan of attack, and the recto (right hand side page) shows her using the part she has built. Each double page shows a step in the building's construction, with Louise at its centre, building something she wants to build and the reason for its being built.
The large white pages on the verso plan out her building, while the colourful recto show the results of her efforts. Each page adds another piece to the building: each page shows her abilities and interests, until finally the house is built, shown in all its glory towards the end of the book, and reflected on the front cover.
Readers will thrill at the efforts Louise goes to build her house, adding many features they will want to discuss, while talking about the things they would want to include in their houses. They will love to look at the variety of clothing she dons for specific parts of the building process, and this too will initiate discussion amongst the readers about the clothing's significance. Her choice of building materials is another point of interest and the last image of what she does with the house too, will intrigue readers.
Walker Books has added editorial comment from Libby Gleeson, as well as the author, giving her reasons behind writing the book, so adding another level of interest to a class where this book is read. Walker Books has again republished another Australian classic, one which deserves to be looked at again and again.
Fran Knight

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