Gargoyles, Girders, and Glass Houses: Magnificent Master Builders

Overview

This superb picture book tribute to seven of history's most celebrated architectural wonder-workers takes readers from the domes of Florence to the mosques of Turkey, from the Eiffel Tower to the Chrysler Building. Stunning illustrations and lively text evoke the passion and genius of builders whose inspiring work spans five centuries and six countries.

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Overview

This superb picture book tribute to seven of history's most celebrated architectural wonder-workers takes readers from the domes of Florence to the mosques of Turkey, from the Eiffel Tower to the Chrysler Building. Stunning illustrations and lively text evoke the passion and genius of builders whose inspiring work spans five centuries and six countries.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-7-The works of seven master builders come to life in this attractive introduction to architecture. Featured structures include the Eiffel Tower, the mosques of Mimar Koca Sinan in Turkey, and the varied works of Brazil's O Aleijadinho. Zaunders opens each chapter with a significant scene from the individual's career, followed by historical and architectural background. The focus of each section varies, reflecting the diverse projects. The one on the Brooklyn Bridge, for example, mostly describes the physical challenges of the construction, along with the efforts of the three Roebling family members who saw it through to completion. In the chapter on Antoni Gaudi, more emphasis is placed on the man's life and the inventive artistic qualities he brought to his work. Munro's captivating artwork provides clear visual reference without overwhelming viewers with busyness. The illustrations range from large paintings to smaller images adorning the edges of the pages. They convey both the grandeur and the subtle details described in the text. The skyward view of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, for instance, shows its sheer size, but also notes the intricate workings of the hoist needed to build the dome, along with the oxen supplying the power. Other titles may cover more buildings or dig further into the mechanics of construction, but this is an engaging first look at the glories of structural design.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Introductions to renowned buildings usually focus on their construction; Zaunders looks instead to their uniformly brilliant, ambitious, strong-minded architects. His seven choices include such usual suspects as Eiffel, "Pippo" Brunelleschi, and the Brooklyn Bridge's Roeblings-but also lesser-known but no less bright lights: Mimar Koca Sinan, chief architect of the Ottoman Empire; Brazil's hallowed, horribly disfigured Lisboa; the irrepressible Antonio Gaudi; and finally William Van Alen, whose Chrysler Building will always be Art Deco's greatest monument. As in her "Inside Outside" series, Munro's illustrations are themselves marvels-mostly partial rather than full views that, drawn with a controlled but fluid line, accurately depict details but also capture a vivid sense of each structure's light, space, and feeling. Zaunders tucks an occasional nugget of biographical information into his accounts, but he's more absorbed by his subjects' spirit, characters, and accomplishments. Readers will be, too. (Nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525472841
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/18/2004
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 11.38 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2005

    a tribute to master builders

    Readers will be absorbed by the works of seven brilliant and ambitious master builders in this attractive introduction to architecture. Share the highs and lows of notable architects and engineering constructions as you travel through five centuries and six countries. This is a remarkable tribute to the genius and passion behind the Eiffel Tower, the mosques of Turkey¿s Mimar Koca Sinan, and the varied works of Brazil's O Aleijadinho. Also included are the stories behind Brunelleschi's dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Roeblings' Brooklyn Bridge, the buildings of Barcelona's Gaudi, and Van Alen's Chrysler Building in New York City. With lively prose, Zaunders opens each of the eight chapters with a significant scene from the individual's career, followed by historical and architectural background. Munro's ink drawings with color washes capture a vivid sense of each structure¿s unique light, space and feeling. Her exceptional perspective adds drama to many of the compositions, and well-chosen details keep even large projects within the range of our understanding. The edges of the pages contain large paintings and smaller images, which convey both the grandeur and the subtle details described in the text. In example, the skyward view of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore illustrates its sheer size, but also portrays the hoist¿s intricate workings, along with the oxen supplying the power. For grades 3-7, this is an engaging first look at the glories of structural design.

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