The House Baba Built by Ed Young

The House Baba Built

I knew nothing could happen to us within those walls, in the house Baba built.In Ed Young's childhood home in Shanghai, all was not as it seemed: a rocking chair became a horse; a roof became a roller rink; an empty swimming pool became a place for riding scooters and bikes. The house his father built transformed as needed into a place to play hide-and-seek, to eat bamboo shoots, and to be safe.For outside the home's walls, China was at war. Soon...

Details The House Baba Built

TitleThe House Baba Built
Release DateOct 3rd, 2011
PublisherLittle, Brown Books for Young Readers
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Biography, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Cultural, China, History

Reviews The House Baba Built

  • Lisa Vegan
    Outstanding!This is a stellar true story, a biography of sorts, by one of the sons of Baba. During the Great Depression and then WWII, Baba kept his family safe. He was smart and clever and principled, and skilled. He built a house for his family, and was eventually joined by extended family and a refugee family from Germany. This was in Shanghai. Somehow, Baba managed to not only protect his family from bombs and invaders but from fear as well. ...
  • GraceAnne
    The art is wonderful, inventive, brilliant. The story could easily be used by a middle grader for history, biography, or art study. Or all three. It is definitely one of those picture books that needs an older audience and it will draw them in.
  • Edward Sullivan
    Ed Young's memoir about his childhood home in Shanghai is an astonishingly beautiful, exquisitely designed work of art, a genuine masterpiece.
  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    I would like to give this book 4 stars, because I enjoyed the text very much. However, I didn't care for the illustrations, which were of cut and torn paper, drawings, and photos compiled into collages, some of them opening out into 3-page spreads. They just didn't appeal to me. Ed Young talks about growing up in Shanghai in the house his father built, during the 1930s and through World War II. I was surprised to learn that the activities they en...
  • Abigail
    I had the misfortune to lose my father, roughly one month ago, after a protracted illness - a reality that I am still struggling to assimilate - and stories about the role that fathers play, in a child's life, about the houses they build, whether real or figurative, for their families, are especially poignant for me right now. So it is that The House Baba Built, a picture-book memoir about the youth of celebrated children's artist and author Ed Y...
  • Teresa
    Very moving, and a fascinating picture of a culture in transition. One of his very best works.
  • Alex Baugh
    About a year ago, I reviewed Allen Say's autobiographical work Drawing from Memory and the effect World War II had on his life growing up in Yokohama, Japan. Ed Young's The House Baba Built is also an autobiographical work and describes his life in Shanghai, China during the war.Ed Young's father was an engineer and realizing that war was coming to China, he decided he needed a safe place for himself, his wife and five children to live in. The sa...
  • Jennifer
    In The House that Baba Built, Ed Young invites readers into his personal story with an autobiography exploring his childhood years in Shanghai. The story is set in the 1930s and opens with Ed’s father looking for a safe place for his family to live as the war creeps closer to Shanghai. With little money, Ed’s father strikes a deal that allows him to build a home in the safe embassy neighborhood of Shanghai and live in the house for 20 years a...
  • 538pm_juliejanowitz
    I was not prepared for the inexplicable beauty that is The House Baba Built. Ed Young details his days as a young boy using brilliant illustrations that explore every medium and fresh prose that provide detailed history. Young invites us into his past…into the house is father built. Young’s memoir is a tribute to his father, and I think he honors his father beautifully with this work he created. Young tells his story with funny anecdotes that...
  • Bethany
    Ed Young, winner of the 1990 Caldecott Medal for Lon Po Po and recipient of two Caldecot Honors(including one for Seven Blind Mice, which I love!), grew up in China, during World War II. His father, Baba, built a home for his family--five children, his mother, himself--the part of Shanghai safest from the Japanese bombs. I think the interesting part about this book is just how normal it all seems, despite there being a World War taking place in t...
  • Barbara
    What a treasure this memory-filled book is! The multimedia illustrations by Ed Young, who himself is an artistic treasure, are filled with images of the artist and his family during their early years in Shanghai. In order to keep the family safe, Ed's engineer father designed and built a house on the edge of the town. So structurally sound was the house [Ed's father built double-tiered walls from bricks and covered the roof with concrete--that it...
  • Bobby
    Author Ed Young retells and brings to life the days of his childhood in Shanghai during World War II. Young recalls the house he grew up in with his sister and brothers, as well as with cousins. The House Baba Built is a biography told by Young about the house his father built to give the family a better life. This book is a solid choice for a 4th grader to read on his or her own, but also to great to book for a teacher to share in any elementary...
  • Dolores
    I'm always intrigued to read about the childhood of authors, because they are often so fascinating. All that creative energy has to come from somewhere, right? Ed Young is no exception. This loving tribute to a childhood lived amidst a war, but somehow cushioned, insulated from it all. In the house his Baba built, he felt safe, and obviously, very loved. It sounds as though it was a house filled with people, laughter and fun. And his father was a...
  • Wendy
    I read this book not long after reading Drawing from Memory - two fascinating memoirs set around Asia during and after WWII. This book is less about Young's artistic influences as what his family did to survive WWII, but the layouts are quite interesting. I also must confess a weakness for this book since my mother also lived in Shanghai during the war, and it gave me a springboard for talking to her about her experiences.
  • Jaclynn
    Ed Young talks about growing up in Shanghai in the house his father built, during the 1930s and through World War II. Beautiful illustrations, love the collages and the pictures incorporated into the artistic elements.
  • Rachel
    This is a story that demonstrates the significance of family and friends and helping others within the community. This story is a biography of “Eddy’s” view of the events happening within the house Baba built in China during World War II. Though most of my students probably have not come from a physically war-stricken nation, they may relate to some of the activities the kids in the book played for fun. Most children have played hide-and-se...
  • Brenda
    What a fun story about a man with great foresight and skill. Ed Young's father came up with a creative plan to build a big house for his family in a safe area of Shanghai. This must have been an amazing house, but equally amazing is his children's ability to be so creative in the house. The children were imaginative and playful and had many wonderful adventures in the house.I like the way this book was created. There are many interesting text fea...
  • Terri
    "The House Baba Built: An Artist's Childhood in China" by Ed Young is a visually stunning memoir of Young's childhood growing up in "the house that Baba built" in Shanghai. The mixed medium artwork, as well as the text express warmth, peace, and comfort - though World War II is raging around them. Young's father wanted to build a house in the safest part of the city, but the land was too expensive, so his father made a deal with a wealthy landown...
  • Linda
    I loved this book and books like this -- such as Allen Say's Drawing from Memory -- whet my appetite to know more about these gifted artists who grew up in another culture but have contributed so much to children's literature in the U.S.In this picture book memoir, Ed Young tells us of his happy childhood in Shanghai, China during a period that you might expect to not be so happy. That he was safe during the war years of the 1930s and 40s was due...
  • Thomas
    The time that the family of Hardy had lived was world-war II. They lived the same as the rich children and lived in a comfortable house. Whoever knows about the residents in Shanghai, everyone guesses that people in Shanghai must be rich. An Artist’s childhood in China, Ed Young, had undergone a terrible experience of life because of the war. The Japanese was spreading out the invasion to China and other countries in south-east Asia at that tim...
  • Judy Desetti
    This is a memoir of illustrator and author Ed Young's (Lon Po Po- Caldecott winner) family as a young boy living in China in the 1930's when Japan invades its shores and starts a war to control the nation. In this story the boy's father builds a house and moves his young family in. He built the house to stand in a safe place and built the walls to withstand bombs. The story tells how the family lived and the children played. It also eludes to the...
  • Tasha
    Illustrator Ed Young grew up in Shanghai during World War II. His father managed to get them a house that was safe because he built it himself. He made a deal with the landowner that he would build a house and after 20 years, the landowner would get it free and clear. But in those 20 years, Ed Young’s family lived there. It was a huge home with a swimming pool, space to roller skate on the roof, staircases to slide down, and lots of other place...
  • Erin Reilly-Sanders
    I sort of both loved and disliked this book. The illustrations have an odd color palette that is beautiful and intriguing at the same time as it is unsettling, especially coupled with the odd mix of media and the sense of time and repetition in the images. At the same time, the overall feel of the book is warm, tender, and comfortable, inviting the reader right in to the house in Shanghai. The pattern of the "story" and the simplicity of the word...
  • Kathy Gunn
    (2011)A beautiful memoir of growing up in China during the depression and World War I. Eddy and his family lived in Shanghai in a home is Baba built. A home where several families found refuge during the water, where childhood games, swimming and skating were the norm. The pages are filled with incredibly creative artwork made with sketches, drawings and real-life objects layered together. Amazing!Themes: China, WWI, Family, War, ChildhoodIdeas: ...
  • Helen
    The House That Baba Built is Ed Young's memoir of his childhood in Singapore during World War 2. Written for children, the collage style illustrations are large and filled with cricket hunts and swimming pools. They're lovely and interesting, but also dark and spread out, and don't always correlate to the words on the page. The story itself is more a collection of memories, and don't have a cohesive thread. In the afterward, Young discusses how i...
  • Peg
    His father's insight into world events, engineering knowledge, and negotiating acumen allowed Young's family to live reasonably comfortably and safely in China during the Depression, occupation, and World War II. Visually gorgeous mixed media combine with Libby Koponen's lyrical text to draw readers into the safe environment created by his parents. Young includes old family photos, sketches of siblings,relatives, and refugees, and diagrams of the...
  • Amanda Guenther
    The House BABA Built, is a book that I think children of all cultures and backgrounds can relate to. I would use this picture book as a tool to teach children about other cultures and how they live and talk about the similarities and differences. The children will be relating text to self by comparing what is in the house Baba built and what is in their own house. We will imagine that things in our house come to life or pretend they are something...
  • Laura
    Ed Young grew up in China during the Great Depression and World War II. His father, an engineer, made a deal with a wealthy man -- he would design and build a house on expensive land. After twenty years, he would return the property, with the home, to the landowner. Young and his 4 siblings enjoyed an interesting, fun, and amazing Chinese childhood. A great example of a memoir for my 5th graders. The text also includes a timeline of Young's life,...