The House that George Built (By Suzanne Slade, Illustrated by Rebecca Bond)
AGES 6 AND UP
In the tradition of the story “The House that Jack Built” comes a story of how our first president George Washington had a desire to design a magnificent place for himself and future presidents to live. As Suzanne Slade recounts that George wanted a house that would be a wonderful symbol of this great nation. Once Washington had located the perfect spot, he held a contest for the best design-he found it in an architect named James Hoban who promised majestic columns in its design “that would stand for all time”. This book is filled with interesting facts about what went into making the house-when bricks were needed-kilns had to be designed and bricks made at various times of day to support the walls. A second fact was he needed stone which America at that time did not have in abundance, making the decision to have a two-story house instead of three. There were also problems with the roof, money was running out and it was recommended to cheaper material to finish the house, regrettably this caused leakages with the house. Our first President never had the opportunity to live in the White House let alone see it to completion, but he left behind a lasting symbol - that this book by Slade beautifully states - he left a foundation for a house that belongs to everyone.
A Bookish Decree: There was just one mention within the story related to the workers who built the White House “over one hundred workers free men and slaves.” It would have been nice to hear more about the people who built the White House. With that being said, there is a great flow to this story by telling it from “The House that Jack Built” perspective it gives the young reader a sense of memorable history.