The Fort That Jack Built
by Boni Ashburn; illustrated by Brett Helquist
32 pages; ages 4 - 8
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2013
I love the way Boni Ashburn begins her story:
This is a table.And two comfy chairs.A big stack of pillows that came from upstairs.
If you remember building a fort under the kitchen table, or on the couch, or between your mom’s sewing table and the bookcase… then this book is for you.
If you have never built a fort…this book is for you, too. And if you are a young-child-sitter, this book is especially for you.
Jack builds a wonderfully creative fort, improvising with all sorts of materials to defend his realm. Until people start taking the things he’s borrowed from them back. Sister wants her chair, and brother his books. Even grandma wants her quilt.
Then Jack figures out the secret of building a fort in the living room.
What I love about this book is the rhythm of the text, and the imaginative illustrations. It’s rich with detail and expressions and the sort of play that any kid anywhere can be part of. And it’s a great antidote to a battery-powered screen-filled world.