Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi

Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi

Hardcover(First Edition)

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In a small village in Spain

lives a boy named Antoni Gaudí.

His home is in Catalonia, a place of jagged mountain peaks and silvery olive trees, splashed by the sparkling sea. The wild beauty of this landscape makes a deep impression. He thinks of it as the Great Book of Nature, and he will read from it all of his life.

Gaudí becomes an architect, learning the rules of form and structure that buildings are supposed to follow. But the shapes and colors of the natural world still inspire him, and he works them into his buildings. Leaves climb up walls. Pillars are giant animal feet. A long bench snakes around a playground.

Antoni Gaudí turned nature into art, and in the process he revolutionized the world of architecture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805087451
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 313,342
Product dimensions: 8.60(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: AD550L (what's this?)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About the Author

RACHEL RODRÍGUEZ is the author of Through Georgia's Eyes. She lives in San Francisco, California.

JULIE PASCHKIS has illustrated many books for young readers, including Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: AWorldwide Cinderella. She lives in Seattle,Washington.

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Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
DayehSensei on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Spanish artist and architect Antoni Gaudi's unconventional life in a simple, narrative fashion. The colorful, whimsical illustrations recall Gaudi's own creations, but they are not so close that they are seen as imitations. An author's note in the back gives more detail about Gaudi, and a short bibliography appears below it. Interestingly, the author also lists a series of websites with photographs of Gaudi's buildings-- an excellent idea. This is a great book to expose younger readers (PK-2) to nonfiction and basic research while still entertaining them with an illustrated story. This competes well with other well-written, excellently illustrated biographies for children, such as those by Jeanette Winter, for example.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the story of Antoni Gaudi, an architect from Spain. It tells how Gaudi came to create buildings that imitated things he saw in nature.I had never heard of Gaudi or any of his buildings, so the whole book was new information for me. I liked the simplicity of the text and way the author shows how Gaudi¿s work evolves and grows, how he tries ideas no one has ever tried before. An author¿s note, a list of photos available online, and a bibliography in the back adds more information about Gaudi for those who are interested in learning more.A bit:¿He designs a gate for his friend Guell¿s country home.A dragon perches atop diamonds and squares, baring his fangs and slithery tongue. Gaudi¿s creations get braver.¿Children¿s comments:Children always surprise me. The group of first graders who looked through this book loved it. They liked the buildings Gaudi made. They rated this book mostly 5¿s and 3¿s, with a couple of 1¿s.
Kathdavis54 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For some reason I could not really get into this book. The story of Antoni Gaudi did not appear to be a boring one. His life was exciting and he was a brilliant architect and artist. However, the writing did not draw me in--what did was the amazing and stunning paintings of Gaudi and his work.
theCajunLibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Antonio Gaudi's work is based on his observations of nature. This picture book biography mingles the story of Gaudi's life with beautiful illustrations of his contributions to art and architecture.
LisaRothman More than 1 year ago
Rachel Rodriguez has a wonderful ability to write lyrical descriptions of complicated buildings in language accessible to children yet enjoyable for adults. The illustrations enhance and illuminate the text. It's one of those books you hope that your child will pull down from the shelf and request before bedtime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For anyone who loves the art and architecture of Antoni Gaudi, this book captures both beautifully. Although written for children, I loved the story as much as my grandchildren. We also loved Rachel's book about Georgia O'Keefe. She has a wonderful way of capturing the essence of her subjects.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Building on Nature is a beautiful representation of the human spirit. With poetic language and rich illustration, Rodriguez and Paschkis weave together the inspirational life story of Antoni Gaudi, an artist unwilling to be anything but himself. This book is destined to be in every classroom! Congratulations to the author and illustrator on their exceptional work!
MelissaSch More than 1 year ago
I adore the fact that Ms. Rodriguez continues to educate children on the incredibly talented artists of the past. First Goergia O'Keefe and now Antoni Gaudi. "Building On Nature" is beautifully written and illustrated. My boys and I stay on each page to savor the words and study the pictures. Absolute quality!
jabertie More than 1 year ago
"With wide eyes, he observes the world. All around him is light, form, and the Great Book of Nature. He will read from it all his life." Isn't that a beautifully written passage? Rachel Rodriguez's spare but evocative language and Julie Paschkis's illustrations, which remind me of Tomie dePaola, complement each other wonderfully in this introduction to the world of Antoni Gaudi. It's a wonderful and simple story of a creative man who made his fantastical visions a reality, and challenged people's perceptions of what buildings could and should be. After reading the book, you'll want to travel to Spain to see his creations in person--at least that's the effect it had on me! This would be a great addition to a classroom library, or the personal library of art lovers young and old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There isn't a great deal of literature out there that that will inspire children about architecture, excepting maybe David Macaulay's books. But this a different kind of architecture book for children; it focuses on a single architect, his architecture, and the inspiration behind his architecture. It's visually rich, even for an adult, and the language is poetic. As an architect, and someone who has visited Gaudi's work in person, this book was a treat, and just the kind of book I would want a young person who might be leaning towards the arts, or maybe even architecture, to have. (And if they aren't leaning that way, it's probably even MORE important that they have this book!) It's hard to do this book justice in a verbal description, but I can see it becoming one of a child's personal treasures. You won't find a better present for a child.
ChiquitaHM More than 1 year ago
Rodriguez & Paschkis come together again (Through Georgia's Eyes was also brilliant) for another breath-taking blend of prose & pictures. Building on Nature brings the reader through the life & challenges of this gifted architect's life. It illustrates through word & illustration, the inspiration for Gaudi's work, difficulties he faced, and triumphs he had, perhaps even more so after his death, in shaping the world with his amazing work! Bravo, Rachel & Julie! Thanks for bringing another incredible human story so vividly to life!
jersol More than 1 year ago
It is rare for art to be brought to life on the printed page but the author and illustrator of this stunning book are able to do so in a very accessible and inviting way, not just for children but for teens and adults too. I love the contrast between the simple poetry of the narrative and the exuberant contours of the illustrations, which reflect the many sides of Gaudi's own personality. I don't see this as a children's book or an art book or an architecture book. It is more of a celebration of one extraordinary man's genius and his unique perspective on the world around him that should appeal to everyone of all ages and all levels. Congratulations!
MaryMcGlynn More than 1 year ago
My daughter is eighteen now, but had this gorgeous book been published when she was young, I know it would have been one of her favorites. I read Ms. Rodriguez's first book, Through Georgia's Eyes as well as Building on Nature, and I am in love with her concept of introducing children to the great artists through a series of colorful and wise books. In both books, the artwork is gorgeous and magical, and Rachel's writing is spare and full of insight. What I love most, though, are the life lessons she gently offers up, like how important it is to be yourself; to trust that you are creative, too; and how important it is to notice the beauty in the world, whether it's made by humans or not. I can't recommend these books highly enough, for children as well as adults!
charles-t More than 1 year ago
With poetic text married to sparkling illustrations, this wonderful little book takes us along on the journey of Gaudi's life: a story of disabilities overcome, one man's artistic convictions and nature's beauty captured in architecture. Children will immediately identify with Gaudi's creativity and adults will be introduced to the creations of a beautiful mind. Well done!
rkeytex More than 1 year ago
I just got my copy of Building On Nature and it is simply a gorgeous book. The illustrations are incredible and help tell the story of an incredible artist/architect. I am an architect and love that I can share my work with my daughter by telling her the story of Gaudi. This will help her gain an appreciation of art and architecture. I read it to her last night and she was enthralled by the images and asked to flip to the front to see it again. Its a wonderful, visually stimulating book.