BOOK REVIEWS

Too Tall Houses Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-03-31 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 20 user ratings
ISBN:0670013145
LANGUAGE:English

"Rabbit and Owl live side by side on a hill. Rabbit likes to garden and Owl likes to look at the forest. All too soon, Rabbit irritates Owl and Owl angers Rabbit. They need to build taller houses to get away from each other!

What a fantastic tale about friendship. Friends get along and they fight, but they always make up. The words are simple and the pictures wonderfully action packed. The underlying theme of working together and being together is very touching.

2013 Storytime Theme: Tall
2017 Storytime Theme: Build a Better World - Houses & Homes
Additional themes: construction, neighbors, friendship, fights, rabbits, owls

Reviewed from a library copy.
" said.

"Nice big book, with pictures large enough to see by the whole class in a shared reading. Plus, the animal partnership of an owl and rabbit is always nice, for me at least (not a bunny for obvious reasons, heh heh).

Nothing especially scary, surprising, or unusual about the story, but it's very useful for the preK, K-2nd graders as they get caught up in competition a lot. The lesson learned is very clear: that it is better to be friends and not compete. I also liked the secondary message of taking (using, building) only what you need.

It reads and looks like an old folk tale where there is a moral at the end. The illustrations are fun when the two houses get taller and start coming apart. Of course the kids like this part!
" said.

"Rabbit and owl are neighbors and friends, but rabbit loves the sun on his garden and owl loves the moonlight view of the faraway land. When owl complains to rabbit that he can't see through the overgrown plants, rabbit is unsympathetic. Owl's solution is to build his house taller. That will not do for rabbit who builds his house taller too. And they keep at it, stealing the sky until they lose everything they thought they cared about.

My first read through with my 4 yr old was less than stellar. I wasn't used to such an obvious social message. When I read Yertle the Turtle or The Lorax, I expect my conscience to wake up a bit. The second time through sealed the deal. I love this book. The illustrations are beyond cute. The message is a great one, listen, care, compromise.
" said.

""Too Tall Houses" by Gianna Marino features a rabbit and an owl who coexist and live happily side by side until something happens to inject a bit of competition into their relationship.

Rabbit's garden grows so tall that it blocks Owl's view of the forest. Owl builds his house a bit taller but it blocks the sun from shining on Rabbit's vegetables. Rabbit builds his house still taller and plants a garden on top. The water from the rooftop garden falls on Owl and he grows angry.

With each animal competing to have the tallest house, the structures grow out of sight (of the ground, that is) with the animals getting angrier and angrier. Their houses grow to be the tallest houses in the world. But having the tallest houses in the world is not very practical. Rabbit can't carry the water up the ladder and Owl can't see the forest.

Finally, the wind resolves the problem by blowing down both houses. They realize that "alone they have nothing." But they also realize that together, they can live happily in one small house.

And isn't that a great message to send to young readers everywhere (and even not-so-young readers)? Big and beautiful doesn't really matter when you are alone, but with a friend even a tiny home is a happy one.

Read the whole review at: Too Tall Houses
" said.

"Rabbit and Owl live right next door to one another at the top of a hill in separate small houses. Rabbit likes growing vegetables and Owl likes the view of the forest. They were good friends. Until one day, Rabbit’s vegetables got so tall that they blocked Owl’s view of the forest. Rabbit refused to cut his vegetables down, so Owl built his house taller. Then Owl’s house was blocking the sun from reaching Rabbit’s garden, so Rabbit built a taller house and put his garden on the roof. So started the competition to have the tallest house. And my, do the houses ever get taller and taller!

Marino does a great job of telling a story that has the heart and soul of a classic folktale. The friendship and competition between the two animals carries a subtle lesson that is masked effectively in humor. She doesn’t back away from carrying the tale to its very funny extreme ending. The story is kept simple, allowing the illustrations to carry much of the story forward.

Marino’s illustrations have the colors of fall and warmth. From the orange branches Owl uses to create his home to the terra cotta bricks of Rabbit’s, the colors are bright and autumnal. As the houses grow into the sky, the colors are cooler, emphasizing that they are leaving the comfort of their warm homes and creating homes simply to beat someone else.

This is a funny, warm and memorable read that will get your audience laughing. Perfect for reading aloud any time of year. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
" said.

"Brief Review:
This book was nominated for the Buckaroo award for the 2016-17 school year by the Wyoming Library Association. I really liked this book the author is using concept fiction in the way that she is portraying some of the realities of friendship to the readers. The book also shows how working together and coming up with solutions is better than everyone having nothing. This book would be good for k-3 grade students.

Content Area:
Social Skills/Writing- I would use this book to show students different ways to deal with conflict and how to solve these type of problems. To do this I would find different situations that have a conflict in them and tell them to the students. I would then ask them to split into groups to brainstorm and write down ways to solve one of the conflicts that is fair for each side. I would then have the students pick the idea that they think is best. In doing this creating the students own conflict in deciding the best idea to share with the class. I would them have each group write on the board the conflict and the resolution they came up with and ask how they came to the conclusion that the resolution they chose was the best. Was it one students idea? Was it a combination of all ideas? How did the group decide on their own conflict?

Comprehension Questions:

Q: Through out the story could you predict what was going to happen to the houses and if so how?
A: While reading the book the Owl and Rabbit were both finding things to build on to their houses, so eventually I knew they were going to get taller with these collected materials. I never perdicted the wind blowing them over.

Q: What did the Owl and Rabbit learn after their houses fell to the ground?
A: Owl and Rabbit learned that the pile of dirt and pile of twigs they had together laying on the ground could be used together to build a house they could both live in.

Student Wonders:
Don't owls live in trees?
A rabbit and owl wouldn't live together would they?
Do rabbits really garden?
" said.

"Book Title: Too Tall Houses
Short Description of the Book: In this book, Rabbit and Owl live in two tall houses on the top of a hill. These two characters begin competing with each other to build a taller house, which ends with both houses being destroyed. The characters realize that alone, they aren’t able to fix their problem. Finally they decide that if they work together, they have enough materials to rebuild one house that they can live in together.

FOCUS: Narrative Features I would Use in a Mini-Lesson:
1-Character- The dialogue and the reactions of the characters in this book help the reader to understand the characters. Both animals are well developed through their speech and reactions to events in the story. This would lead to a good discussion of character traits.

TEACH: CCSS Connection:
4.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
1.Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
**2.Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
3.Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
4.Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
5.Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Mini Lesson- 1-Brainstorm a list of character traits with students. Talk about all the ways that you can determine the traits of a character. 2- Read the story to students. 3- Have students turn and talk to discuss the traits of the two characters in the story. 4- Discuss what traits we can infer from the dialogue of the characters (ex: stubborn, determined, etc.) Also discuss how readers can determine a character’s response to an event by looking at their dialogue and description. 5- Write into the Day- Encourage students to develop their characters with the use of dialogue and description in their stories. 6-Author’s Chair time!

EXPECTED OUTCOME: Students will be able to recognize how author’s use dialogue and description to show the responses of characters to situations, and to imply traits of a character. Students will begin to use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
" said.

" The rivalry between these 2 friends gets a bit out of hand... " said.

April 2018 New Book:

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