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Bringing architecture alive for young readers.

Bringing architecture alive for young readers To involve your children in your own remodel or explain the mysteries of a skyscraper, books can spark and satisfy their curiosity. A surprising number of architectural books are written specifically for children. You'll find some in conventional and children's bookstores, but also try book and supply outlets that cater to architects and design professionals.

The sampling on this page represents some of our favorites for bringing architecture alive for young readers.

How-to-build books

Many books explain the wonders behind construction. Some appeal to a child's fascination with enormity--how were those giant skyscrapers, grand cathedrals, and pyramids built?--while others focus on more humble dwellings.

Building a House, by Byron Barton (Penguin, New York, 1981; $3.95). Introduces youngest readers to the basics of building.

Building a House, by Ken Robbins (Macmillan, New York, 1984; $13.95).

Depicts stages of building through photographs.

Cathedral, by David Macaulay (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1973; $6.95). Provides a beautifully drawn glimpse of architectural history; part of a series including Castle, City, Pyramid, Unbuilding, Underground.

The Children's Book of Houses and Homes, by Carol Bowyer (Usborne, London, 1978; $7.95). Shows different types of houses lived in around the world.

Grand Constructions, by Gian Paolo Ceserani (G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1983; $19.95). Traces the construction of massive projects, from Sumerian Ziggurats to Brasilia.

New House, by Joyce Maynard (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, San Diego, 1987; $12.95). Tells the tale of a boy who creates his own tree house as he watches a house being built in his neighborhood.

What It Feels Like To Be A Building, by Forrest Wilson (Preservation Press, Washington, D.C., 1988; $10.95). Whimsically compares how a building is engineered to how your body supports its weight.

Books to play with

Pop-up, punchout, and cutout books encourage active play; coloring books instruct as children "paint" real buildings.

The American House Styles of Architecture Coloring Book, by A.G. Smith (Dover, New York, 1983; $2.95). Depicts real houses around the country. Part of a series including Victorian Seaside Hotel.

Archabet, photographs by Balthazar Korab (Preservation Press, Washington, D.C., 1985; $14.95). Invites young children to locate alphabet shapes found in architectural details.

California Missions (Spizzirri Publishing, Rapid City, S. Dak., 1984; $1.95). Enables young artists to learn histories of the missions as they color.

Cut & Assemble A Western Frontier Town, by Edmund V. Gillon, Jr. (Dover, New York, 1979; $4.95). Also A Crusader Castle, A Farm, A New England Seaport Village, An Old English Village, New York Skyline, and others. The series instructs budding builders to assemble paper models, many of which are HO-gauge to match electric trains.

I Know That Building! by Jane D'Alelio (Preservation Press, Washington, D.C., 1989; $14.95). Teaches architecture through games and activities.

Look Inside A House, by Denice Patrick (Putnam, New York, 1989; $9.95). Encourages exploration of a house by letting children poke and touch shapes in the heavy cutout pages.

Skyscraper Going Up, by Vicki Cobb and John Strejan (Harper & Row, New York, 1987; $14.95). Pop-ups have pull tabs that work machinery.
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Article Type:Bibliography
Date:Dec 1, 1989
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