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The House That Zack Built

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  53 reviews
A buzzy fly and a mischievous kitten make a mess on the farm in this contemporary twist on a classic rhyme.

This is the fly that
buzzed on by
over the house
that Zack built . . .

Readers in the know may recognize Zack and his trusty dog, Rufus, from Alison Murray’s Hickory Dickory Dog. Now Zack is enjoying a day on the farm, building an amazing house with his blocks. But nearby
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by Candlewick Press (first published March 6th 2014)
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  252 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Zack built a house out of blocks outside under a tree. A fly buzzed by, the cat stalked the fly, then got more interested in the cream up high on a shelf. The dog was asleep when down fell the cream, knocked over by the cat who was still looking to catch that fly. The lambs in the field are calm and quiet, then the dog runs through still covered in cream and the sheep dash out of the field. Then Zack looks around, amazed at the mess of the farm. He jumped into action and set it all right. Then t ...more
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture_books
A classic rhyme gets a fresh twist in this cumulative tale that uses bouncing verse and bright illustrations to unfold delightful mayhem on a farm. Fans of the author's previous book (Hickory Dickory Dog) may recognize Zack and his canine sidekick, Rufus, but The House That Zack Built can stand alone. The story is brought to a happy, satisfying close as quick-thinking, resourceful Zack restores order in the farmyard. Featuring crisp rhymes that beg to be said out-loud, this is a perfect pick for ...more
Cute story based on the original poem/rhyme of similar name. Cute, oldish pictures. We liked following the path of the fly.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Most people have heard of the children’s story called the house that Jack built. This is a retelling of that classic story. There are a few differences. The main characters name is Zach, not Jack and he is building with blocks instead of a real house. Fans of the classic story will like this one. The illustrations are really cute and colorful. I would recommend this for any collection.
Meg McGregor
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
In this twist of the traditional nursery rhyme, Zack builds a house out of blocks.

I didn't really care for the illustrations or the text.

The only reason, this book didn't get a lower rating, is that the girls liked the kitten, in the story!

Hopefully, I will like other books by this author!
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Zack spends the book building his block house while the action takes place around him.
He shoos off a fly when it lands. The cat chases the fly and triggers a chain of reactions from other animals on the farm. In the end, Zack takes care of the mess and solves the various problems.
Use for cause/effect.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The kitty is so cute. It's fun to read this a little dramatically. The kids I read to have pretty short attention spans and this story is a touch wordy in spots, but doing the story dramatically kept them paying attention (for the most part) until the end.
Gabrielle Draxler
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
potential for storytime
Jenna Mills
Quite fun though the ending was completely unrealistic
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
7/6/2018 Read with Julia.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bit repetitive
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed this book. I had never read a book before by Alison Murray, who is a Scottish children's author and illustrator. I loved the rich colors that filled every page and how they were vibrant and ranged from green to red to orange to yellow. I enjoyed the rhyming that was a constant fixture throughout the novel. On one of the pages, the author stated, "These are the lambs, calm and serene..." I thought she did a fantastic job of illustrating lambs in a field of grass on a farm while a ...more
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
First sentence: This is the house that Zack built. And this is the fly that buzzed on by, over the house that Zack built. This is the cat that stalked the fly that buzzed on by, over the house that Zack built.

Premise/plot: A retelling, of sorts, of The House that Jack Built. Zack, the house-builder, lives on the farm. And animals feature prominently in this retelling.

My thoughts: While I am not a fan of The House That Jack Built, I am very much a fan of The House that Zack Built. Part of the ch
Not my all-time favorite of Alison Murray's marvelous books - what I love about her art is the way her digital compositions mimic some of the artifacts of physical art processes - the sticky texture of block-printed color, the crumbly edge you get when you've used tape to mask an area - and in this one there is less of that.

BUT - the book is nevertheless a charmer, transplanting "The House that Jack Built" onto a farm, with rhymes that work and a few fun words that invite exploration.
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This rhyming text structured after the oh-so-famous House That Jack Built is amusing in that it narrates a barnyard calamity that is truly Rube Goldberg worthy. That is to say, one thing leads to another and another until the entire barnyard is one dizzying whirl of chaos. I think kids would get a real kick out of this one. It's silly and fun, and kids will recognize a disaster in the making from the early stages. Well done.
Katie Fitzgerald
It threw me off that the text doesn't strictly follow the pattern of The House that Jack Built, but otherwise, this wasn't bad. I think it worked better than the first book about Zack, Hickory Dickory Dog.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really like this tale that isn't strictly cumulative throughout. It stops intermittently with dramatic moments, just right for keeping a preschooler's interest. The pictures are engaging, with many cute faces and scenes depicting a definite sense of action. Children can follow the fly as he buzzes around too. Great for storytime. Ages 2-6.
Kristina Jean Lareau
A fun modernization on the Mother Goose rhyme "House that Jack Built."

Repetition that is different enough to be interesting, great digitally-rendered illustrations and short enough for the attention-span of a toddler, "The House that Zack built" is made for story times.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fresh take on the nursery rhyme in which Zack visits a farm and is building a structure out of blocks when a mischevious cat and a house fly nearly destroy the farm.

Fun read aloud for PreK-2 with vibrant digital illustrations.
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Based on the old folk motif, "The House that Jack Built", this is a delightful barnyard romp where many things go amiss, but Zack takes control and all is righted again.
Always enjoy the art work of Alison Murray.
Angie Quantrell
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Wonderful adaptation of a book with a similar title. Love this version and the entire concept. A pesky fly, a determined cat, a creamy dog, and the other usual farm animals join Zack as he builds a house.
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It's fun to read again and again.
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Ages 2-4.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I never really cared for the building storyline books. But this one is cute and I love the Chris Raschka-ish illustrations.
Chris Markley
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Wonderful!!! Repetition & rhyme similar to traditional House that Jack Built but with a twist from resourceful Zack. Great for predictions! Readers will be surprised with outcome
An adaptation of "The House That Jack Built" where Zack builds a house with blocks.

A good for story for a building story time.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
The house that jack built + old lady that swallowed a fly; rhymes well and there's more to the story told in the illustrations.
May 23, 2016 added it
Shelves: picture-books
Haven't read the previous Zack book but this one didn't do much for me. I'm not really a fan of piggyback books/rhymes/songs unless they really do something different.
Miss Sarah
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book follows a cat following a fly and all that happens as the cat follows along till someone stops the chain of events. Lots of repetition.
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sweet illustrations, consistent rhyme/meter and a fresh twist on a classic cumulative story. Great addition to your read aloud collection!
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Alison Murray studied textile and interactive media design. After graduating, she moved to London where she did a variety of jobs, including selling books and designing rugs, before cofounding a successful interactive media company. She now mainly works as an illustrator and author of picture books, but still dabbles with interactive media and web design. She has published several books, including ...more