Reviews /

The Mellons Build an Eco-house

Authored by Robin Jacobs
Illustrated by Nik Neves
Published by Cicada Books Ltd

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The Mellons Build an Eco-house: The Mellon family live in a small flat, which they have outgrown and so decide to build a new house, an eco-house.

Having looked at a range of different houses, the Mellon family of five decide that they can’t find anything that feels quite right, but all agree that they do need more room. So, they decide to tell Masha the architect what they each want in a house. She tells them they also need to consider the environment and designs them a house which is ‘lean, clean and green’. The Mellons Build an Eco-house shows step by step from planning to construction, the stages of house building. We are introduced to the people that will build the house and the jobs that they will do, such as Oona the plumber and Boris and his crew of groundworkers, all overseen by Bea the building contractor.

Through the book there are lots of different facts such as the difference between topsoil and subsoil, how concrete is made and what a heat pump system is for. There is also the explanation for each stage as to what environmental decisions have been made such as using locally grown timber so it is not transported from far away and triple glazed windows to help control the temperature of the house. There are also lots of maps, plans and diagrams to help explain the ideas. The pages are well laid out and use different fonts to show facts and what characters are saying.

I would recommend The Mellons Build an Eco-house in the primary school library as a good one to pick up and will keep groups of children enthralled. I would also use it as part of a project in KS1 and lower KS2 around homes and housing or environmental work.