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If I Built a School

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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/>


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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/>

30 review for If I Built a School

  1. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    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 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 and the passing of design over to the child that I really like. As Jack tours his teacher around the school, introducing her to his plans and reasoning behind them, even sometimes admitting that he doesn’t yet have all the details on how something might actually work, it is the creativity that is passed into his hands and his teacher’s looks of wonder that I most appreciate (especially her considered look at the existing brick school box at the close of the book). There is so much that one could do with children after reading this book. Having children design their own school is just one simple activity. Working with DIY holograms is an easy tech-related activity, while in-depth discussion, for example, about Jack’s decision to have animals sequestered into small enclosures just inside the entrance of his school could spark much-needed conversation about the relationship between animals and humans. The book rhymes gloriously. It’s a lot of fun to read aloud. Every two lines rhyme and they are grouped into four or six lines per page. If I Built A School will be a fun addition to any school library or child’s personal bookshelf - perfect for sparking conversations about design and for igniting young readers’ creativity. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    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 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 of a child he's positive his school would be great. The rhyming makes for a great read aloud and the bright illustrations and clever ideas make this a delightful book to share. The book could even be used to encourage students to design their own schools.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    I imagine there would be 100% attendance at a school like this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    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 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 premise of the book is rather straightforward. Jack returns once more and outlines his perfect school with a shiny, bright, futuristic facility in which students are swept to open-roofed classes in clear tubes, there are no tests but lots of field trips, and art, music, and science are afterthoughts next to the huge and awesome gym, playground, and lunchroom. A robot and lots of cute puppies greet students at the door, robotically made-to-order lunches and the library's books are all animated popups rather than the everyday regular sorts. All in all, If I Built a School is a wonderful book about a little boy and his boundless imagination in creating the perfect school.

  5. 5 out of 5

    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 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 their own ideas for if they were to build a school.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    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!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kelley Blair

    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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This was so fun and my son was mesmerized!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    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 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 rhyming text to be difficult to read in storytime.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    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 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 a classroom community of mutual respect, compassion and support. We learn to laugh together with abandon for this is the song which soothes souls. Two recent book releases are fine, fine selections in creating an atmosphere of mutual joy and boosting creativity. The second book is a companion title to two previous inventive publications, If I Built a Car and If I Built a House. If I Built a School (Dial Books For Young Readers, August 13, 2019) written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen takes imagining the ideal space for learning to new heights. Teachers, gals and guys will flock to this school 365 days a year and adults will want to start their education all over again. My full recommendation: https://librariansquest.blogspot.com/...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lghiggins

    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 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 enjoying the story and illustrations. As Jack takes his teacher on a tour, we see his ideas play out in colorful and fun illustrations. His concept includes puppies and a zoo in the lobby, hover desks, and hologram guests. This is such a fun book; I think it would be a particularly good read in the classroom lending itself to much discussion and creative followup as children illustrate and write about their own notions for a perfect school. Warning to school administrators: there is no mention of testing in this book because as Jack concludes: On a scale, 1 to 10, it’s more like 15! And learning is fun in a place that’s fun too. I would like to extend my thanks to Edelweiss and to Dial Press (Penguin) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    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 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 a House just to round it out. The girls then asked for big pieces of paper to design their own schools and houses, so I happily obliged! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In typical Chris Van Dusen fashion, If I Built a School is terrifically written to read aloud. The rhythm and rhyme are perfect, and just like the other two books in his “If I Built…” series (house and car), they’re full of imagination and fun. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And yes, Mr. Magee and his little dog Dee are hiding in these illustrations… My younger was the first to spot them!

  13. 4 out of 5

    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' 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's all great fun and will get students' imaginations going. These books are great discussion starters for imagining what amazing things kids would add to their school if it was up to them.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    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 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, remind students that Chris illustrated their beloved Mercy Watson series too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Abby Hart

    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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    “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.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    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.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    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!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    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.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Connie T.

    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.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    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.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Baker

    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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Relyn

    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!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa D

    Loved it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Jack imagines the type of school he would build, and describes it to his teacher, Miss Jane, using verse and rhyme. It's a futuristic, fun place to be, and spend the day learning.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marcie

    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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