STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building – a review


Hale, Christy. 2012. Dreaming Up: A celebration of building. New York: Lee and Low.

As a youth services librarian in a public library, I don’t have the same type of interaction with children as  a teacher or school media specialist might. I see more preschool than school-aged children, and though my goal is to “teach” the love of reading and the power of information, children and parents often come to the library seeking pleasure and entertainment. Teaching and learning moments are offered in the form of story time programs, book clubs, or crafts.

That’s why a book like Dreaming Up is so perfect!  Imagine a book that “teaches” architecture,  concrete poetry, design, and the power of imagination. Now imagine that book is suitable for preschoolers  up to grade 4, that it sparks opportunities for imaginative play, that it is factual (Architecture, DDC 720), that it is properly sourced, that it is multicultural, and yes – it’s attractive, too!

On the page facing each illustrated poem is a photograph of the famous or architecturally significant structure which inspired the poem. Featured buildings are from locations around the globe and include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater inPennsylvania. Back matter includes information on each of the fifteen structures as well as biographical information on each building’s architect.

No need to dream; there is such a book and it’s Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building.  Go. Read it. Share it.

Get out some boxes, and blankets, and pillows, and playing cards, and Popsicle sticks and building blocks. Encourage the young people you know to “dream up.”

I purposefully did not quote from the book because in concrete poetry, you must see the structure of the words themselves.  Please preview a few pages of Dreaming Up here on the publisher’s site.

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5 thoughts on “Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building – a review

  1. Nice book- I’ll look for it! At Tamarack Writes this week I’ve got an awesome Art and Science pic book called Sky Tree.

  2. What a great book! I love the cover art – I wish this book had been around when my kids were young architect-dreamers, block-builders, mud-excavators.
    Over at Archimedes Notebook I’ve got a cool book about animals: “Weird and Wonderful Show-Offs” by Margaret McPhee.

  3. Sorry I’m late! School is very hectic. Lisa, the book looks fabulous. At NC Teacher Stuff, I’m featuring a rhyming book (Spring Blossoms) about flowering trees:

  4. At Booktalking I’m reading The House That George Built by Suzanne Slade (Author) and Rebecca Bond (Illustrator)

  5. Lisa,
    I love Dreaming Up. It is just so imaginative and celebrates human creativity. Great choice!