Reviews for Dreaming Up : A Celebration of Building


Booklist Reviews 2013 January #1
Combining images of preschoolers at play with famous buildings all over the world, this lively picture book is great for sharing. On one left-hand page, kids stack up colorful paper cups to make towers (smaller, smaller / and growing taller); opposite is a full-page photo of the Petronas Twin Towers, among the world's tallest buildings, built in 1998 in Malaysia from concrete, steel, and glass. On another spread, a little girl makes circular mud pies; opposite is a photo of an earthen New Gourna Village in Egypt, and the note tells how the village combines earth, water, sun, air, traditional design, sensitivity to climate, and imagination. One environmentally focused page shows kids building a structure with paper tubes and reusable cardboard; opposite is the Paper Tube School in China, where teachers and students helped construct a temporary school out of recycled paper and plywood after an earthquake. Older children will turn to the detailed back matter that talks about each building and its architect, and a great quote from Frank Gehry sums up the connections: Creativity is about play. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
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. A toddler's upside-down stack of graduated plastic doughnuts look like Wright's Guggenheim Museum; a snowball igloo mirrors a sample shelter for living on Mars. Hale suggests that using what's at hand to "dream up" new things is vital to creativity.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #1
Building -- with blocks or sand, sticks or other improvisatory materials -- is one of childhood's most entertaining forms of play. Here, fifteen such play building projects are deftly rendered in mixed-media collage and paired with photos of iconic buildings that look like they could have been inspired by imaginative children's constructions. A toddler's upside-down stack of graduated plastic doughnuts resembles Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum; a "pillow fort" mimics Frank Gehry's Bilbao Guggenheim. Concrete poems describe the children's structures: "Blankets flung, stretched chair to chair -- soft roof arcs low. / A cozy place, a hideaway, / where you and I can go"; facing is Tokyo's Yoyogi National Stadium with its enormous swooping roof, identified only -- as are all the buildings and their architects -- in endnotes, leaving readers free to make their own connections first. The structures include a house of cards (they "slice through space / …hold still this / moment / of / balance") opposite an amazing German fire station that does indeed resemble a house of cards; an igloo of snowballs mirrors what is identified in the endnotes as a sample shelter for living on Mars. While lots of books show children how to play, this one suggests that using what's at hand to "dream up" new things is vital to creativity: as the book's epigraph says, "If they can dream it, they can build it." joanna rudge long

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
Hale turns her educated eye to modern and contemporary architecture and produces a book that is at once groundbreaking, child-friendly and marvelously inclusive. With a celebratory tone, Hale cleverly structures this unusual picture book by matching a series of lively concrete poems and vignettes of young children at play (creating simple structures of all types), pairing them with carefully selected photos of complementary, emblematic 20th- and 21st-century structures. Mud pies are compared to Hassan Fathy's all-earthen New Gourna Village (Luxor , Egypt); beachfront sand castles to Antoni Gaudí's soaring La Sagrada Família Basilica (Barcelona, Spain); busy LEGO® projects with Moshe Safdie's modular Habitat 67 housing (Montréal, Québec); cardboard-tube models to Shigeru Ban's amazing Paper Tube School (Sichuan Provence, China); tongue-depressor/Popsicle-stick and white-glue crafts with the vertical slats of David Adjaye's Sclera Pavilion (London, England); and the "soft forms / tumble making / ever-changing / caverns, secret spaces" of pillow forts with Frank Gehry's curvilinear Guggenheim (Bilbao, Spain). Well-organized and accessible backmatter contains the photo, name and location of each of the 15 highlighted structures, a brief biography of and a telling quote from each structure's architect, and Hale's own portrait of each designer. This extraordinary new picture book masterfully tackles the complex task of contextualizing seemingly complex architectural concepts within a child's own world of play. (Informational picture book/poetry. 2-8) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October

K-Gr 3--A clever introduction to architecture. Each spread shows children playing on one side and a photograph of a famous building on the other. The children, done with watercolor in a fairly standard illustrative style, are pictured working with toys that mirror the form of the featured buildings. For example, a baby's stacking rings are shown opposite the Guggenheim Museum, and wooden blocks mirror the shape of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. Each spread also contains a short poem, many rhyming, that describes the youngster's play. The poems are printed in large font and are typeset to complement the shape of the architecture pictured. They are age appropriate and well crafted; for example, the one for the Montreal Biosphere reads, "Easy peasy as can be/toothpicks joining one, two, three." Back matter includes brief paragraphs about each building and mini portraits and paragraphs about the architects, who come from a variety of countries; most are men. This book is more accessible than J. Patrick Lewis's Monumental Verse (National Geographic, 2005) or a more factual text like Culture in Action: Architecture (Raintree, 2009) and is a good precursor for either of them.--Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT

[Page 115]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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