The House Baba Built

The House Baba Built

Featured
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
1876   0
Write Review
The House Baba Built
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
October 11, 2011
ISBN
978-0316076289
Buy This Book
      

In Ed Young's childhood home in Shanghai, all was not as it seemed: a rocking chair became a horse; a roof became a roller rink; an empty swimming pool became a place for riding scooters and bikes. The house his father built transformed as needed into a place to play hide-and-seek, to eat bamboo shoots, and to be safe.

For outside the home's walls, China was at war. Soon the house held not only Ed and his four siblings but also friends, relatives, and even strangers who became family. The war grew closer, and Ed watched as planes flew overhead and frends joined the Chinese air force. But through it all, Ed's childhood remained full of joy and imagination.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
N/A  (0)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
N/A  (0)
Learning Value 
 
3.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
N/A
Learning Value 
 
3.0

A Childhood in China

In this picture book, Caldecott-winner Ed Young details his youth at the beginning of WWII in China. Memories based upon his childhood home, built by Baba (daddy), tie the book together. Photographs, family documents, collage and ink drawings create a scrapbook style.

Some details reveal volumes about Young’s life in a fresh, new way, e.g., the trading of silkworm eggs at school. However, there is a rambling, sporadic feel to the book as it shifts from memory to memory that is a bit distracting. The multiple people and families mentioned make for slow reading as readers try to digest new characters. In fact, this reader never really connected with any of the characters or even the narrator himself.

Honestly, the target audience for this work feels unclear. The extended length (48 pages) style seems prohibitive for the typical 4-8 year-old age range. As a former daycare teacher, this reviewer could not imagine reading this book to her classes. The language is a bit simple for older children and adults, although the book could be a good starting point for studies on Chinese culture in the 30s and 40s or for classroom use.

Obviously a work of love on the part of the author, his deep feelings for his family shine through the book.

Includes a timeline, author’s note and floor plan of the house Baba built.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Pirate Queen: The Legend of Grace O'Malley
A captivating retelling of the story of Grace O’Malley, the...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Let's Call It a Doomsday
There are many ways the world could end. A fire....
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The moment I declared the last word, I felt a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Surface Breaks: A Reimagining of The Little Mermaid
Think you know the story of the Little Mermaid? Think...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights
By her fourteenth birthday, Babe Killingsworth measures 6ʹ9ʺ and weighs...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Girl Who Loved Ghosts
She’d do anything to save her friends and family. But...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
#Murderfunding (#MurderTrending, #2)
WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PAINIAC?, the latest...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Truman
After his best friend Sarah leaves for her first day...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Day the Universe Exploded My Head: Poems to Take You into Space and Back Again
Hang on tight for a raucous bounce through the solar...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Blue Key
Seleste is turning sixteen. A milestone birthday. A birthday that...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fallen Empires (Cleopatra in Space #5)
Cleo goes into hiding after a mysterious death at Yasiro...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
The Season
Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued; in...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Exact Opposite of Okay
Eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill knows exactly who she is—a loyal friend,...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Girl Gone Viral
For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Patron Saints of Nothing
A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
This Time Will Be Different
For fans of Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Sandhya Menon,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Let's Call It a Doomsday
 
4.3
"LET'S CALL IT A DOOMSDAY follows Ellis, a teenager who is Mormon and has an anxiety disorder. Eliis is in..."
The Surface Breaks: A Reimagining of The Little Mermaid
 
4.3
"THE SURFACE BREAKS is a slow-building retelling of The Little Mermaid. While staying true to the classic, this story adds..."
#Murderfunding (#MurderTrending, #2)
 
4.3
"#Murderfunding is an engaging and fast-paced sequel to #murdertrending. Alcatraz 2.0 has been shut down and #CinderellaSurvivor (Dee) and her..."
#Murdertrending
 
4.7
"In the near future, a reality TV star has become president and signed off on Alcatraz 2.0, a new prison..."
The Season
 
4.3
"THE SEASON by Sarah MacLean is a YA historical fiction novel that centers around seventeen-year-old Alex, who is coming of..."
My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant
 
4.3
"Sixteen-year-old Bluebelle, or BB/Big Bones, loves herself. Forget that others say she's fat. After a recent asthma attack, she has..."
The Exact Opposite of Okay
 
3.3
"THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF OKAY is a book that tackles sexism and slut-shaming. Written as a series of journal entries,..."
Girl Gone Viral
 
3.3
"Girl Gone Viral was pitched for Warcross and Black Mirror fans. Now I haven’t read Warcross yet, but I’ve seen..."
Patron Saints of Nothing
 
4.7
"Reading Patron Saints of Nothing invokes a lot of emotions, especially for someone who’s socially aware of the current political..."
This Time Will Be Different
 
5.0
"THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT is an engaging YA contemporary with strong underlying messages about racism and social activism. With..."
As Far as the Stars
 
3.3
"AS FAR AS THE STARS is a slow-burning book about overwhelming grief. Air (Ariadne) is a high schooler with heaps..."
This Cruel Design
 
5.0
"Feedback This book…. What do I have to say about this book…. I have such a love/hate relationship with it...."
Don't Date Rosa Santos
 
5.0
"DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS is a sweet and touching book about family. Rosa lives with her grandmother, and she sees..."
Not Now, Not Ever
 
4.0
"Lily Anderson’s sophomore novel follows Elliot "Ever" Gabaroche during an intense summer program to compete for a scholarship. It’s Not..."
A Monster Calls
 
4.7
"4.5 Stars This low-fantasy middle grade story is at once hefty and heartrending—despite its relative brevity and target audience..."
Salvation Day
 
4.3
"Zahra wants the world to know the truth about her father. She believes he wasn't to blame for the deaths..."
The Stars We Steal
 
4.7
"Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie "Leo" Kolburg has a title, but not much else. She's heir to an older European spaceship.When the..."
In Another Life
 
4.0
"I really loved this storyline. The Story: Chloe is going through a tough time with her family. After her..."
When Summer Ends
 
5.0
"This book is everything. The Story: Olivia and Aiden have good lives. Olivia has a boyfriend she loves..."
Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2)
 
5.0
"VOW OF THIEVES is a thrilling end to a wonderful spin-off YA fantasy. Although a spin-off series from the Remnant..."