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Architecture and engineering

architecture_corey_secret subwayCorey, Shana  The Secret Subway
Gr. K–3, 4–6     40 pp.     Random/Schwartz & Wade

Illustrated by Red Nose Studio. This tour de force tells of nineteenth-century inventor Alfred Ely Beach’s solution to New York City’s crowded streets: in 1870, he unveiled the first underground train, which went back and forth in a 294-foot tunnel. (Self-serving bigwigs killed Beach’s dream of expansion.) The art’s sensational 3-D sets are, per the endpapers, created by hand. Bib.
Subjects: Machines and Technology; New York (NY); Vehicles—Subways; Inventions and inventors; Beach, Alfred Ely; Transportation

dillon_story of buildingsDillon, Patrick  The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond
Gr. 4–6, middle school     96 pp.     Candlewick

Illustrated by Stephen Biesty. Dillon and Biesty highlight a diverse selection of buildings from different eras, with most being given a splendid gatefold cross-section illustration. Each picture is thoroughly but unobtrusively annotated; the verso of each gatefold page explicates a feature germane to the building. The book provides a modest social and political account of (mostly) European history, and its absorbing pictures and spacious design invite browsing. Timeline. Ind.
Subjects: Visual Arts; Buildings; Dwellings; Architecture

architecture_dyer_watch this spaceDyer, Hadley  Watch This Space: Designing, Defending and Sharing Public Spaces
Middle school, high school      80 pp.     Kids Can

Illustrated by Marc Ngui. Dyer discusses modern culture’s need for public space (e.g., parks, malls, the Internet), examining the history of such areas and providing suggestions for creating shared space people can use in different ways. Sidebars of related information support the readable text; the accessible design, including Ngui’s comic-book-like illustrations, further enhances the presentation. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Social Issues; Architecture; City and town life

architecture_heine_13 architects children should knowHeine, Florian  13 Architects Children Should Know
Gr. 4–6   46 pp.    Prestel

Children Should Know series. This large-format volume provides a thorough overview of some of history’s most influential architects, organized chronologically from Filippo Brunelleschi to Gaudi to Zaha Hadid. Well-captioned, high-quality images of buildings and structures support the informational text, which addresses styles, backgrounds, and inspirations; engaging personal details and anecdotes are also included. Sporadic quiz questions and activity suggestions encourage exploration. Timeline. Glos.
Subjects: Visual Arts; Architecture; Buildings

architecture_porter_peeking under the cityPorter, Esther  Peeking Under the City
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Capstone/Picture Window

Illustrated by Andrés Lozano. What’s Beneath series. A direct-address text with short sentences and not-too-challenging vocabulary takes readers on an underground tour to introduce civil-engineering technologies, from underground power cables and subways to church crypts and skyscraper foundations. Oriented sideways, the uncluttered spreads include helpful illustrations, diagrams, insets, cross-sections, and “Did You Know?” sidebars. “Common Core Critical Thinking” questions are appended. Reading list. Glos.
Subjects: Machines and Technology; City and town life; Engineering

From the January 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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