Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Building Our House

Building Our House

Jonathan Bean

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)



A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Winner of the 2013 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Best Picture Book
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013

In this unique construction book for kids who love tools and trucks, readers join a girl and her family as they pack up their old house in town and set out to build a new one in the country. Mom and Dad are going to make the new house themselves, from the ground up. From empty lot to finished home, every stage of their year-and-a-half-long building project is here. And at every step their lucky kids are watching and getting their hands dirty, in page after page brimming with machines, vehicles, and all kinds of house-making activities!

As he imagines it through the eyes of his older sister, Building Our House is Jonathan Bean's retelling of his own family's true experience, and includes an afterword with photographs from the author's collection.

Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Master List, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, NCSS-CBC: Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Books of the Year, Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens, Illinois Monarch K-3 Children's Choice AW ML, Charlotte Zolotow Award / Honor Book, NYTBR Notable Children's BOTY, Boston Globe - Horn Book Award, Indiana Young Hoosier Award Master List, American Library Association Notable Children's Books, ALA Notable Children's Books, Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice A. ML, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI)


Praise for Building Our House

“Children ages 3–10 who already like tools and diggers aren't the only ones who will respond to the warmth and optimism in these clear, detailed, gently color-washed pages.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Shot through with pioneer spirit . . . Bean's terrific illustrations show a loving family, living in a mobile home as they gather lumber and pour concrete . . . Children will enjoy the comforting solidity of shoring up foundations and sawing strong boards.” —The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

“* Raise the roof for this picture book. It's something special.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“* Lovingly told, this captivating tale will help satisfy a child's curiosity of what it takes to create a building from scratch.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“* Bean creates an engaging story as well as a glimpse into a warm family setting.” —The Horn Book, starred review

“A warm look at the nuts and bolts of building a house and turning it into a home.” —Publishers Weekly

“Wonderfully detailed, often humorous.” —BCCB

“What's heartwarming throughout is the depiction of a tight-knit family (‘My family makes up a strong crew of four').” —Booklist

In the Press

A solidly constructed picture book for young readers by Jonathan Bean. - The Washington Post

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Jonathan Bean

JONATHAN BEAN received an M.F.A. from New York's School of Visual Arts and now lives and works in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His first book, At Night, won the 2008 Boston GlobeHorn Book Award, and he is also the illustrator of two acclaimed picture books by Lauren Thompson, The Apple Pie That Papa Baked and One Starry Night. Jonathan's parents still live in the house the family built, outside of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.

Jonathan Bean

Jonathan Bean on Etsy

Reading Guide

For Parents and Educators

Get the Activity Guide

Download the Building Our House projects for children to do at home and in the classroom

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From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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