I love some of the non-fiction books being published for kids today. As my third grade students have learned about the presidents, they are intrigued with certain historical figures, and also amazed by the White House (especially the fact that it contains a bowling alley, swimming pool, and movie theater).
The House That George Built by Suzanne Slade has been my read aloud of the week. Not only does it tell the story of how the White House was built, but an entirely separate poem is contained within mimicking This Is the House That Jack Built. On our first read through we read the poem version in order to get the feel for the cadence and rhyme and also the repetition of it. Then we began the book again, this time reading the text that included more details about how the White House was built. A few weeks ago I tried reading Those Rebels, John and Tom by Barbara Kerley and Edwin Fotheringham to this same group. While it was interesting to me, I misjudged my audience and they had a hard time paying attention to this book. There were too many facts for them. The House That George Built fit my audience well - a perfect amount of factual information still written as a story to capture their interest.