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Children's Nonfiction House & Home

The House That Max Built

by (author) Maxwell Newhouse

Initial publish date
Apr 2008
House & Home, Architecture, Country Life
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2008
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 6
  • Grade: p to 1


Having worked construction for many years, author and illustrator Maxwell Newhouse shows young readers step-by-step how houses are built in this captivating picture book. From drawing up the plans to excavating the site to laying the foundation, the unique and colorful paintings move through the seasons as Max builds the house of his dreams. Watch the framing crew as they build a floor frame to hold the house, raise the walls into place, and make the roof frame. See them install the windows and doors, bricklayers build the outside walls with bricks and mortar, and roofers nail the shingles into place. Follow the plumber as he puts in the water lines, the electrician as he installs the wiring, and the drywaller as he places wallboard on the inside walls. Along come the tile setter, floor layer, cabinetmaker, and painter, who all do their part to make Max’s house beautiful as his mischievous little dog romps through the pages. Finally, when the property has been landscaped with plants, trees, grass, and stones, Max moves into his beloved new home.

With a list of all the trades and a description of what they do, The House That Max Built is a must-have for any child with a natural curiosity and a passion to build things

About the author

Contributor Notes

Maxwell Newhouse is one of the country’s most accomplished folk artists. His work is exhibited in galleries across Canada. He is well known for his paintings of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which are gathered together for the first time in The RCMP Musical Ride. He has illustrated five books for Tundra, including Emily Carr: At the Edge of the World by Jo Ellen Bogart, Laura Secord by Janet Lunn, and, Let’s Go for a Ride, which he both wrote and illustrated and was nominated for a Governor General’s Award for illustration. He lives in Cultus Lake, British Columbia.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Let’s Go for a Ride:
“Sophisticated imagery and a confident naiveté make for a fresh and surprising ride.” — Governor General’s Award Jury

Praise for The RCMP Musical Ride:
“Newhouse has created folk art illustrations that evoke the pageantry of ‘the ride’, while filling each page with details and fun for the reader.” — Brandon Sun

Librarian Reviews

The House That Max Built

Folk artist Maxwell Newhouse worked in construction for many years and in his newest book, he takes young readers through the steps of building a house. It begins in the early summer with the site selection and architect’s drawings and ends with laying sod in the garden beside the blossoming pink fruit trees.

Concrete pouring, framing, shingling, plumbing, insulation, tiling — each page shows a step in the process — explained in clear and succinct sentences and illustrated in detail in Newhouse’s bright and lively style. In clear language, the author explains each step and even Max’s choices. “‘The frame of the house needs to be covered with brick or siding or stone or stucco. ‘It’s brick for me,’ says Max. He watches the bricklayers spread the mortar.”

For youngsters who find construction fascinating and who are instantly attracted by the roar of a backhoe or the sight of a hammer, this book offers plenty to intrigue. But The House That Max Built offers any child an easy informationpacked trip through the process of homebuilding, one which will be fun to read at home or at school.

Newhouse’s vibrant colours and engaging style show the development of the house (and the passing of the seasons outside). Children will also enjoy finding white-haired Max himself in every picture — and his black Scottie dog who appears in most pictures, occasionally making trouble for everyone on the site!

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2008. Vol.31 No.2.

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