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Sunday, December 8, 2013

dreaming UP: a celebration of building, written by Christy Hale. Lee & Low Books Inc., 2012. $20.95 ages 4 and up

         on cup
      stacking up,
  smaller, smaller,
 and growing taller!       

What a brilliant book this is!

Try to get a copy from your local bookstore, or from the library. You will be dazzled by the way in which Christy Hale combines children with architecture, and how she shows that what they do during their play resembles many of the world's astonishing structures. The text is poetic, the idea of pairing children's play with buildings around the world quite unique!

The book is created using two-page spreads. The one on the left is illustrated with mixed media collage showing children playing with such common playthings as stacking cups, mud pies, cardboard boxes, blankets, wooden blocks and more. They are faced on the right side with well chosen photographs of a variety of architectural constructs from around the world that match what the children are doing in their play. Awesome!

Each is accompanied by a concrete poem (as I tried to show above).  You really need to see them to appreciate the remarkable creativity in design.

Christy Hale doesn't stop there. She concludes her book with back matter that offers a brief description of the buildings and of their designers. Then, to add  more interest, she includes a  hand painted portrait of the architects and  a personal quote from each one. From Maya Lin whose design of the Box House in Telluride, Colorado comes this perfect accompaniment:

"The process I go through in art and architecture, I actually want it to be almost childlike. Sometimes I think it is magical." - a very apt description of a child's play!

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