How to Build the Perfect Cubby House

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Heath McKenzie, How to Build the Perfect Cubby House, Scholastic Australia, May 2019, 32 pp,. RRP $17.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760152673

How do you build the perfect cubby house? In this guide, a cubby is built, starting with a small box and adding room by room as family members arrive, keen to contribute ideas. There’s room for bikes, music, movies and a secret lab. Before long the cubby is a spectacular multi-storey abode, just a little wonky. But as it crashes to the ground, the family continue to celebrate. After all, says the book, “the perfect cubby house only needs to be one thing… a place where everyone is welcome.”

How to Build the Perfect Cubby House is an entertaining read, easily capturing the imagination of my six-year-old. Told mostly through pictures, the book is visually appealing, with vibrant, full-page illustrations full of fun and humour. A nice touch is the depiction of cultural diversity in the family members who arrive.

The book is presented as a numbered step-by-step guide that includes positive processes such as trying new things, having fun and thinking outside of the box. Accompanying the illustrations are snippets of dialogue in speech bubbles. These feel far less important than the illustrations, and I imagine that many pre-readers will enjoy spending time ‘reading’ the book on their own through looking at the pictures.

Recommended for ages 4 and over, this book is a light-hearted and easy read.

Reviewed by Rebecca Blakeney

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