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Too Tall Houses
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Too Tall Houses

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  472 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Good friends learn a small but important lesson

Owl and Rabbit are good friends and live in two small houses next to each other. They are perfectly happy . . . until Rabbit's garden gets in the way of Owl's view. So Owl builds his house a little taller. Only that blocks the sun from Rabbit's vegetables. So Rabbit builds his house taller. And soon it's a house-building frenz
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Viking Juvenile
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Lisa Vegan
Dec 12, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: Terri Lynn
I loved this book. Thank you to Goodreads friend Terri Lynn for alerting me to it. I’m not sure I’d have found it otherwise, at least not in the near future.

The illustrations are special. They’re beautiful and interesting, and some are very amusing. I love how they take up entire pages, and how the text/story is placed over the pictures. The expressiveness of Rabbit and Owl are priceless.

The story is wonderful too, and has a moral about getting along with one another and being considerate of one
Jan 24, 2013 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathryn by: Lisa Vegan

A delightful and touching story about the pitfalls of one-upmanship and the beauty of true friendship. I love the illustrations and thought the conclusion was sweet and holds a great message without being annoyingly didactic. Thanks to my friend, Lisa, for bringing this to my attention.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Baugh
Too Tall Houses is the story of how the good friendship between Rabbit and Owl is almost completely ruined when it turns into a ridiculous competition. Rabbit and Owl have always lived in harmony: Rabbit liked to garden, Owl liked to look at his lovely view. But when Rabbit's garden grows and grows so that it blocks Owl's view of the forest, instead of talking to Rabbit about it, Owl simply builds a higher house.

And when Owl's new higher house blocks the sun that Rabbit's garden needs to grow,
Terri Lynn
This book is so charming. Rabbit and Owl are neighbors. When Rabbit's veggie garden starts blocking Owl's view of the forest, Owl builds a taller house but that blocks the sun on Rabbit's veggie garden so Rabbit builds a taller house and grows veggies on top of it which blocks Owl's view of the sun and , well, you get the idea. The artwork is warm, friendly, and charming. I loved the pictures a lot. Things start to get silly as the two keep building their houses so tall the winds blow them down. ...more
Owl and Rabbit are good friends until one day when one of them becomes discontent with the neighborhood. Focusing on their own needs with little regard for how each one's actions will affect the other, things quickly get out of control. When their world literally falls out from under them, they realize that sometimes sharing resources can lead to endless possiblities. I was fortunate to snag an F&G of this one while at ALA12 thanks to a recommendation from my friend Jillian. Loved both the w ...more
Corey Lynch
This story is about two neighbors, a rabbit and an owl, who have trouble living near each other as they have different interests. Their dispute over sight lines and sunlight dispersion leads to a succession of building that leaves them with the two tallest houses in the world with very unmanageable heights. At the peak of their construction both houses collapse and the two friends must pool their resources to build a new house that fulfills both of their needs.This story would be good to use in ...more
I enjoyed the telling and the essence of the story, but despite the fact that it was a fable, somehow it bothered me that the rabbit's house was not underground and the owl's was not in a tree. I am not sure why, but because of that it didn't ring true. I can usually cast all kinds of assumptions aside when reading folktales or modern children's stories like the Berenstain Bears where the Bear family lives in a treehouse but otherwise does all the things human families do. But somehow in this pi ...more
Ashley Saunders
Marino, G. (2012) Too tall houses. Viking.

Publisher's Weekly Starred Review

Choice Book

Two neighbors live in harmony until one day they have an argument. This begins a large competition between the two to see who can have the tallest house. They become too wrapped up in the competition to realize the danger they have put themselves in. When all is said and done they work together to build a home together that is just the right size. This book is a wonderful way to show students that competition i
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 ...more
Pamela Kramer
"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 com
April Dawn
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
Owl and Rabbit are friends and next-door neighbors. But when Rabbit's garden blocks Owl's view of the forest, Owl builds his house taller. Now Owl's house blocks the sun from Rabbit's garden, so Rabbit builds his house taller. This continues on and on until disaster strikes the ridiculously tall houses, and the two friends find a much better solution together.
Jul 10, 2014 Tc rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: animals
This story is very much like a fable with two friends having to work through a problem brought on by a misunderstanding, and a streak of competitiveness. This book would be a great tool for discussing friendship and talking through disagreements. This would be an interesting book to compare with other stories such as the "Tortoise and the Hare". I also feel this book would be terrific to use with a story basket or reenactment with props.
Michelle Kelley
Too Tall Houses is a nominee for the 2014-2015 California Young Reader Medal. It's a charming story about Owl and Rabbit who live happily next to each other until their separate personal interests begin to compete, and they each adapt their homes to adjust. The artwork is delightful, and attention should be paid to subtle expressions.
Lynn Plourde
Rabbit and Owl compete. Rabbit needs a garden to be tall enough to get some sun. Owl wants a view of the forest. They each build taller and taller blocking the other's sun and view--until they are in outer space! In the end they realize they didn't need such tall things after all. Good book to lead into a conversation about competition.
This book has a great message about friendship and compromise. It would be great for 2nd grade and younger when they are first starting to make true friendships and learn that sometimes we have to work together to make everyone happy. I also really enjoyed the illustrations as well, they really enhanced the story.
Jean Haberman
Owl and rabbit are friends and next-door neighbors...until they started to argue. They thought the solution was to build their houses higher than each other, however, a lesson was learned..."together they had all they needed."

Beautiful illustrations. A good book to read about conflict resolution.
Robyn Jones
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.
Judy Lindow
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 takin
This is a story of friendship. Rabbit and Owl enjoy being neighbors and cohabitating in their individual lives. However, when one unintentionally steps on the other’s toes, trouble insues. Owl is mad that he can’t see the forest, so he builds his house taller. Rabbit is mad that sunlight isn’t reaching his garden, so he builds his house taller. Soon, their houses are so tall that they get blown down by the wind and neither has anything anymore. So, they both decide to use the resources they have ...more
Owl and Rabbit are good friends and neighbors atop a hill, but when Rabbit's garden blocks Owl's view of the forest Owl builds a higher house, which prevents sunlight from reaching Rabbit's plants.
Owl and Rabbit are good friends and neighbors atop a hill, but when Rabbit's garden blocks Owl's view of the forest Owl builds a higher house, which prevents sunlight from reaching Rabbit's plants.
Miss Pippi the Librarian
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.

Theme: Tall
Additional themes: constr
Tim Vandenberg
Gorgeous art! Sweet story, great friendship lesson!

Recommended for all young readers!
Bridget R. Wilson
Rabbit and Owl are neighbors. They both live in small houses until Owl needs a better view of the forest because Rabbit's garden has grown too tall. Owl's taller house blocks the sun from Rabbit's garden so Rabbit builds a bigger house and puts his garden on the roof. Will these two ever remember they're friends?

What I thought:A great story with such colorful illustrations. Too Tall Houses will be a wonderful addition to my Houses & Homes story time in March. I think the very last illustrati
Lyndsay M
k-2 simple and short sentences with a good message for young students.
Cute book for kids about getting along with others told in a unique way!
Travis Morgan
I would use this book to discuss the importance of working together, friendships, and dialogue.
One part The Butter Battle Book, one part the biblical story of Babel, Rabbit and Owl forget their friendship and become angsty and vengeful when they begin to compete with one another in house renovation projects. Eventually gravity forces them to accept the futility of this duel and they return to focusing on friendship rather than competition. A cute read, with excellent illustrations, and a strong, clear moral.
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