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The House that Jack Built

$22.90 NZD

The House that Jack Built by Gavin Bishop is a classic retelling of an old nursery rhyme brought to life in a colonial setting.

It is 1798 when Jack Bull Esq. arrives in Aotearoa to find a land strong in spirit and tradition. The Māori, the people of the land, are eager to have his iron pots, nails and blankets to enhance their daily life. But Jack's arrival is followed by more and more people from Europe. To the Māori, the land is their Earth Mother, Papatūānuku, who gives life to all things. However, the settlers pressure the Māori to give up their land to build farms and towns, and Papatūānuku is divided and sold.

Tension over the loss of tribal land eventually leads to the Land Wars of the 1860's. As in the traditional rhyme, the house, the malt, the rat, the cat, the dog, the cow with the crumpled horn, the maiden all forlorn, the man all tattered and torn and the others help to tell Jack's story. 

  • A traditional rhyme illustrated by Gavin Bishop
  • 32 pages
  • Measures approximately 25 × 30 cm
  • Published by Gecko Press
  • ISBN: 9781877467615


Gavin Bishop O.N.Z.M (Ngāti Pukeko, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Mahuta, Tainui) is an internationally renowned children’s writer. As a picture book author and artist he has published 70 books that have been translated into twelve languages and won numerous awards. His distinctive ink and watercolour illustrations are a feature of stories that are sometimes traditional, sometimes original. Gavin has been shortlisted for NZ book awards more times than any other author of any kind.