“The Story Of Buildings” is brought to us by Patrick Dillon and is illustrated by Stephen Biesty.

I don’t know which gentleman deserves top billing. This oversized volume is spectacular.

It begins with how houses were built. I learned that the most difficult part was the roof. Thinking about it, that makes sense. How would you support a covering, and what covering was available to be used?

I remember hearing about the “soddies” when I lived in Kansas. They actually were “caves” with sod on top, as wood was so scarce in the plains. Yet man persevered, and buildings continued to “grow.”

It is mind-boggling that one of the pyramids of Egypt was built more than 2,600 years ago. We go on from there to the temples of Greece and the Parthenon.

I also find it interesting that inventions depend on each other. The skyscraper would not be possible without the elevator and plumbing.

The fascinating illustrations continue to the Pompidou Center in Paris. There are lots of foldouts along the way, and numerous timelines in the back. Anyone who likes to build or has an interest in architecture will love this.

Former President Jimmy Carter long has been a very active volunteer with the wonderful charity, Habitat For Humanity. He tells us about the program in “If I Had A Hammer.”

He doesn’t just talk about the program, but according to the people in this story, he wields a mean hammer himself.

Habitat For Humanity uses donations and volunteers to build affordable homes for low-income families. The family is part of the process and must contribute labor as well.

Habitat operates all over the world. Houses are built according to the style and needs of the country of origin.

Kids are welcome to volunteer, as well as adults. There is always a lot of “go-fering” to do on a building site. If you like to swing a hammer, I’m sure they would love to welcome you.

Just for fun, let’s look at what happens when two friends decide to compete.

In “Too Tall Houses,” by Gianna Marino, we meet good friends Owl and Rabbit.

They are neighbors who live happily in two small houses next door to each other. Then Rabbit’s garden grows a little too tall and blocks Owl’s view. He decides to build a taller house. Then Rabbit builds his taller, and when he is watering his rooftop garden, he rains on Owl. That makes Owl make his house taller.

Back and forth they go until they have the tallest houses in the world.

Eventually, the wind comes and blows both of the houses down. Owl is left with a pile of sticks, and Rabbit has only a pile of dirt.

Together, they build a new house together, just one small house.