I must say that the book is a real surprise. By the cover, I assumed this was a sweet story about a little girl and her dollhouse. It is a story about a little girl and her dollhouse but not what I expected. The book starts with these lines, "This is my dollhouse. It used to be just a cardboard box." The first half of the book goes on with the girl describing all the things she did to create the dollhouse by painting the bricks, using various things to create a TV, a stove, etc. It becomes clear that the fun of the play is in the creation and each day she uses things in creative ways to make her dollhouse better.
But her friend has a "real" dollhouse. So she is embarrassed to show her dollhouse to her friend. But it turns out that her friend's dollhouse turns out to be not as much fun and her dollhouse provides endless hours of play and imagination.
There is another fun surprise to this book. On the cover, there is a tiny badge that says, "Look inside the jacket for tips on how to make your own dollhouse!" The back of the jacket cover has step-by-step ideas that invite readers to create their own cardboard box dollhouse.
When I read this book aloud, the kids were fascinated. They loved the ways that she created different things for her dollhouse. Every kid loves to make new things with cardboard boxes so this inspired so many great ideas. It is a great book to tie into kicking off a Makerspace too.
I loved the messages this story gave about creativity, imagination and play. I have been spending a bit of time with the professional book Purposeful Play by Kristi Mraz, Alison Porcelli, and Cheryl Tyler and this was a great way for me to bring some ideas about play and making and learning to my students.
This year's Global Cardboard Challenge is on October 1. This would be a great book to use as you get ready for this global event.