Gail Gibbons "has taught more preschoolers and early readers about the world than any other children's writer-illustrator," according to the Washington Post. Winner of the 2010 Regina Award, she has written and illustrated more than fifty books for Holiday House. She lives in Corinth, Vermont.
As readers quickly comprehend, building a house is a complex project requiring the cooperative efforts of many people. With her usual skill, Gibbons makes the process easy to understand. Beginning with the architect who draws the plans, readers meet the surveyors, equipment operators, carpenters, plumbers, and other people who produce a building. The book concludes with a family moving in, ready to make the house a home. Although children in some parts of the country will not relate specifically to houses with basements or septic systems, How a House Is Built provides basic, general information without oversimplifying. The illustrations are typical of Gibbons' style: bright colors, clean lines, and captions where necessary to define unfamiliar terms. Women are well represented in many non-traditional roles but not much racial diversity is shown. An appended page encourages comparison of modern frame houses to simple houses of the past. Building a House (Greenwillow, 1981) by Byron Barton offers less detailed information for younger children. --Jeanette Larson, Mesquite Pub . Lib . , TX