contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.


123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Too Tall Houses


Too Tall Houses

Alethea Allarey

Official Links


Written & Illustrated by Gianna Marino

Published by Viking Press, 2012

2014-2015 Nominee - Primary


Neighbors and good friends Owl and Rabbit live happily next door to each other, until Rabbit’s garden grows too tall and blocks Owl’s view. Unhappy, Owl builds his house a little taller, which then prevents sunlight from reaching Rabbit's plants. So Rabbit builds his house a little taller, too. The two neighbors keep building, each trying to have the tallest house, until one day, the houses are too tall and there are two very unhappy neighbors, who are no longer friends.  Then, disaster strikes the houses and both Owl and Rabbit are plummeted back to the Earth, where neither has much left.  However, they learn that together, as friends, they have enough to survive.

Meet the Author/Illustrator

Gianna Marino was born in San Francisco and spent her early years galloping horses through Golden Gate Park. Her explorations expanded after graduating from high school and in order to afford her many journeys, Gianna had several jobs at once: apprenticing a muralist, a jewelry designer, a product designer and driving horse carriages through the park. Gianna explored many corners of the world, from Africa and Asia, to the South Pacific and Europe, to crewing on sailboats in the high seas. At work and school, she became known as “Boomerang”.

Gianna finally landed a full-time freelance gig designing toys for children, but after several years in a corporate box with no windows, she left for good and began painting, illustrating and writing books. She took an extension course at UC Berkeley on illustrating children’s books.
Gianna has written and illustrated numerous articles for travel and leisure magazines. Her children's books include Zoopa: An Animal Alphabet (2005), One Too Many (2010), Meet Me at the Moon (2012), Too Tall Houses (2012) and Following Papa's Song (2014).

Though she still wanders the world, Gianna now lives in Northern California with her husband and step-children and works full-time writing and illustrating. She spends her time juggling two Newfoundland dogs, a gigantic cat and Nabu, the brilliant horse.

Learn more about Gianna Marino at



  • What are your favorite parts of the house? 
  • If you could add anything to your house, what would you add? What if the part you added crept over into your neighbor’s yard?
  • Could a house ever be too big?
  • Do you have too much stuff in your house? What could you do without?
  • Have you ever had a quarrel with a friend that just got bigger and bigger?


Other titles by Gianna Marino
Following Papa’s Song (2014)
Meet Me At the Moon (2012)
One Too Many: a Seek & Find Counting Book (2010)
Zoopa: An Animal Alphabet (2005)

Homes and Neighbors
Building our House by Jonathan Bean (2013)
Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci (2013)
Library Mouse: Home Sweet Home by Daniel Kirk (2013)
The House that Jack Built by Diana Mayo (2001)

Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell (2012)
A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker (2008)
Horsefly and Honeybee by Randy Cecil (2012)
Riley and Rose In the Picture by Susanna Gretz (2005)
Duck and Goose by Tad Hilles (2006)
Up the Creek by Nicholas Oldland (2013)
Knuffle Bunny Too: a Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems (2007)
How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends by Jane Yolen (2006)

For more information, please check the 2014-2015 Resource Guide - Primary.