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If I Built a School
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If I Built a School

(If I Built ...)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  292 ratings  ·  53 reviews
In this exuberant companion to If I Built a Car, a boy fantasizes about his dream school--from classroom to cafeteria to library to playground.

My school will amaze you. My school will astound.
By far the most fabulous school to be found!
Perfectly planned and impeccably clean.
On a scale, 1 to 10, it's more like 15!
And learning is fun in a place that's fun, too.

If Jack built a school, there would be hover desks an/>And/>On/>Perfectly/>By/>My/>
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Dial Books
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  292 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
If I Built A School is Chris Van Dusen’s third If I Built... picture book. Brilliantly coloured spreads full of wonderful imaginings provide the perfect leaping off point to spark children’s own creativity. If I Built A School is more like If I Built a fun park. From glass tube travel ports and spaceships to holograms and water slides, Jack’s school design is wild and heaps of fun.

While the inclusions in Jack’s school are perhaps not exactly surprising, it is the leap of creativity a
I discovered the series this book is a part of this summer and I fell in love with it. Not only do I adore Van Dusen's bright, entertaining illustrations, but his rhyming is first rate. In this book, Jack tells his teacher all about the school he would build if he was in charge. He demonstrates a first rate imagination as he details the zoo, glass tubes and pods for transportation, classroom towers, and stylus's that write in the air. He can't explain how everything works but he with the faith o ...more
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Imagination abounds in this book about Jack building the school of his dreams. It’s actually pretty awesome.
Edward Sullivan
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I imagine there would be 100% attendance at a school like this.
Ben Truong
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
If I Built a School is the third book in the children's picture book series If I Built..., written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, which follows an imaginative boy named Jack who wants to design his ideal school.

The text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and lyrical. Written in rhyming couplets, the narrative tells the school that a little would like to create. The illustrations are colorful, sleek, and shiny, reinforcing the 1950s suburbia ambiance and the narrative.

The premis
Morgan Hollis
This book is about a young boy who decides that he wants to redesign his school and make it more fun and interesting. The author, Chris Van Dusen, has won awards for some of his other books, including one similar to this one - If I Built a Car. This book won the E.B. White Read Aloud Award, and I feel that If I Built a School would be an amazing book for a read aloud because it rhymes, and would give the students new ideas that are super creative, and then you could have them go come up with the ...more
Oct 14, 2019 added it
In If I built a school, Jack takes his teacher on an imaginary tour of his dream school. This school is filled with his wildest dreams and fantasies including puppies that greet you, skydiving in the gym, and three story tall slides to get you to and from classes. I recommend this book to all ages because you are never too young or too old to access your imagination. A very fun and entertaining read!
Kelley Blair
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my this book is full of imagination . The premise is if a child built a school there would be fun and innovative ways of learning. An enjoyable story to share with the children in your life.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so fun and my son was mesmerized!
Van Dusen's predictable rhyming style and recognizable illustrations are back again in this back-to-school tome. Young Jack is swinging on the swings when he tells Ms. Jane (the teacher) that the school lacks pizazz and proceeds to explain the school he would design. Jack's school would include everything from a zoo to hologram history classes. Jack definitely knows how to design schools!

A cute rhyming story suggested for lap reading or group. I personally find this kind of rhythmic
Even seasoned students, teachers and parents will attest to feeling partly excited and partly anxious about the first day of school in any given year. For those gals and guys attending for the first time, every emotion is super-charged. They are going from the familiar to the unknown. This might not only be their first day at school, but they might be living in a completely new community with no chance of seeing any friends.

Upon their arrival we welcome all of them equally. We create
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jack uses his imagination to create the perfect school in If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen. Written in rhyme, the first verses immediately bring Dr. Seuss to mind:

Jack, on the playground, said to Miss Jane,
This school is OK, but it’s pitifully plain.
The builder who built this I think should be banned.
It’s nothing at all like the school I have planned.

Unlike Dr. Suess, Van Dusen sticks to real words and the book is ripe with opportunities for vocabulary study—after a long period of enjo
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s no secret that we LOVE Chris Van Dusen around here! In fact, we love him so much that I pre-ordered If I Built a School the day I heard it was being published, and I try really, really hard not to buy books until I’ve seen them in person. But, I believed it wouldn’t disappoint, and I was right!
Our copy of If I Built a School arrived yesterday, and we’ve read it at least 11 times already. We read it twice just this morning over breakfast, and followed it with If I Built
Abby Johnson
Chris Van Dusen's If I Built a Car is one of my go-to school age readalouds and this one will be just as big a hit. Told in a bouncy rhyming text, a boy describes all the fantastical and amazing things he's include if he was building the school (and money and reality was no object). Puppies and zoo animals would greet you at the door, the students would have moveable hover desks, every library book would come to life when you opened it, you'd race on submersible bikes in the school's pool... It' ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chris Van Dusen’s school is surely one that students and teachers would never want to leave! I can imagine when the bell at the end of day would ring, they would all look at each other, shrug their shoulders, and continue on in this amazing atmosphere of learning. For some reason while reading this book, I could hear the Jetsons’ theme song and whizzing by of space craft in the distance. Absolutely delightful and one to quickly insert into your “beginning of the year” reads to students. Also, re ...more
Juliana Lee
Jack tells his teacher how he would build a school if he could... oval pool around a bounce basketball court, pods to zoom you to your classroom high in the sky with retractable ceilings to let the sun in, zoo animals in the lobby, field trips to mars, and holograms instead of tests. All that and more, if he built the school.
Abby Hart
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eled-380, favorites
This is a fun book. Its a fictional story but it has poetry elements in it. You could use this story to teach rhyming words. You could have students also write a story about how they imagine a school they could build. The pictures are colorful and look futuristic. The little boy in the story is explaining his dream school to the recess teacher.
“My school will amaze you. My school will astound. By far the most fabulous school to be found!”

Zoo animals, robot chefs, hover desks, holograms and skydiving wind tunnels are just some of the features that a boy tells his teacher he would have if he designed the school.

Delightfully detailed illustrations and a nice rhyming cadence will make this a fun read aloud.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A young boy uses his imagination to create his version of the best school. From the puppies that greet students when they arrive to the hover desks in the classrooms, the action doesn't stop.
Use to start the year and talk about their ideas for schools.
Great segue to decorate their shelf markers for library - create an area in their perfect school.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: prek-books
This was a great book! The illustrations and the ideas put forth toward what kind of school the boy wants to build is so imaginative and amazing. They are so creative and full of color and awesomeness.
Connie T.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
If Jack were to build a school it would be a cross between a theme park and the futuristic world of the Jetsons - a fun place to hang out but I'm not sure how much learning would take place. Bright colors and rhyming text, but it starts to feel repetitive towards the end. It didn't do much for me.
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love Chris Van Dusen’s books! They are so vibrant in color, and the rhyming is flowing and fun! The story is not only visually appealing, but very inventive, creative, original, fun, and exciting! They make perfect read alouds!
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We love this book! I bought for my daughter who just started kindergarten. I wanted her to imagine her version of school. She loves it. The pictures are so beautiful and it is not to short and not to long.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture
I am late to this party ... I haven’t seen the other ones. But SO MUCH fun! Did I see it was going to be a tv series or a movie or something? 🤔
Anyway. So many STEM tie ins I don’t even know where to start.
Brittany Baker
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
The illustrations are the star of this book. They are dynamic, uplifting and thoughtful, with beautiful swooping lines and wonderful details. Young people will enjoy flipping through this book on their own, and its fun, rhyming text will also make it a pleasant read aloud for a group.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love Chris Van Dusen, and this series is just wonderful. I love all the maker space related activities you could use this one for. Even if all you do is share it with a young child, it is sure to be a hit!
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As much fun as Built a House and Build a Car! Full of imagination and so much fun to read with kids. These books are real kid favorites.
Lisa D
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
I'm sure every reader my age could only think of the jetsons as they read it, I'm 70. Think kids will have fun drawing and designiing their own school. Nice to have this third one in the series.
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Chris Van Dusen writes: “I was born in Portland, Maine, on St. Patrick’s Day, 1960. As a child, my brothers and I would spend hours drawing pictures. We didn’t have video games or computers to entertain us, so we drew instead. One of my brothers would sketch intricate war scenes. Another would draw animals so realistic you’d swear they were breathing. My specialty was aliens, robots, and monsters. ...more

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If I Built ... (3 books)
  • If I Built a Car
  • If I Built a House