Hale, Christy Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building
Gr. K–3 40 pp. Lee
Fifteen childhood building projects are deftly rendered in concrete poems and mixed-media collages, each paired with a photo of an iconic building bearing a resemblance to the creative play. A toddler’s upside-down stack of graduated plastic doughnuts looks like Wright’s Guggenheim Museum; a snowball igloo mirrors a sample shelter for living on Mars. This 2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book suggests that using what’s at hand to “dream up” new things is vital to creativity.
Subjects: Preschool; Play; Poetry—Concrete poems; Buildings; Architecture; Stories in rhyme
Paxmann, Christine From Mud Huts to Skyscrapers
Gr. 4–6 64 pp. Prestel
Illustrated by Anne Ibelings. This large-trim book thoroughly and engagingly chronicles how architectural technologies and styles developed, presenting era-by-era examples, from prehistoric huts and Egyptian pyramids to the Bauhaus and Gehry’s Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, to possible future trends. An informative paragraph about each period and/or movement precedes numbered captions pointing out specific features in the large, detailed illustration of the exemplary structure. Timeline. Glos.
Subjects: Buildings; Architecture; Visual arts
Ritchie, Scot Look at That Building!: A First Book of Structures
Gr. K–3 32 pp. Kids Can
Five fictional young friends discover some elementary principles of architecture. They romp through their town noticing foundations, structural beams, arches, columns, and domes. Simple definitions and cartoon illustrations make the concepts accessible, showing that they’re embedded in the children’s everyday life. A (slightly babyish) project involving craft sticks, marshmallows, and construction paper is appended. Ind.
Subjects: Visual arts; Buildings; Architecture
Rubalcaba, Jill I. M. Pei: Architect of Time, Place, and Purpose
Middle school, high school 120 pp. Cavendish
This handsome volume, extensively illustrated with clear photographs and some architectural drawings, gives a personalized account of the career of the Chinese-born superstar architect. The informative text focuses on Pei’s major projects including Boston’s Kennedy Library; the National Gallery of Art, East Building, in Washington, D.C.; and the subterranean addition to the Louvre, with its distinctive pyramid entrance. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Visual arts; Chinese Americans; Buildings; Architecture; Pei, I. M.; Biographies; China
Woods, Michael and Woods, Mary B. Ancient Construction Technology: From Pyramids to Fortresses
Middle school, high school 96 pp. Twenty-First Century
Technology in Ancient Cultures series. After an informative overview section, chapters discuss particular civilizations and their specific construction technologies, including those used in the building of the Great Wall of China, Egyptian and Mayan pyramids, and Roman aqueducts. The text successfully shows both the uniqueness of and similarities among the tools and techniques. Numerous captioned photographs, sidebars, and quotations add supplementary information. An epilogue relates how these ancient building methods are still being used today. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Ancient and Medieval History; Technology; Construction; Buildings; Architecture
From the September 2013 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.