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Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  248 ratings  ·  92 reviews
A collection of illustrations, concrete poetry, and photographs that shows how young children's constructions, created as they play, are reflected in notable works of architecture from around the world.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Lee & Low Books (first published April 1st 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 456)
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A children's book that combines architecture, poetry, and a global look at the world. The best nonfiction books nowadays provide multiple access points for different readers with different interests, and Dreaming Up is a stellar example of that approach. Short poems, featuring heavy meter and rhyme, are laid out alongside corresponding illustrations of children at play (wooden blocks, a pillow fort, sand castles). On the opposite page, iconic buildings from around the world (Wright's Fallingwate ...more
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Author Christy Hale does a wonderful job in introducing young readers to modern architecture from around the world and relating it back to their everyday lives. By using well-crafted poetry and illustrations of children engaged in making buildings and structures with simple materials on one page (blocks, legos, sofa cushions, sand, etc.), she mirrors the shape and form of their creations to contemporary architecture from around the world on the opposite page. One beautiful example is when Hale c ...more
The publisher's summary is spot-on: "A collection of concrete poetry, illustrations, and photographs that show how young children's constructions, created as they play, are reflected in notable works of architecture from around the world. Includes biographies of the architects, quotations, and sources."

The more I look at this book, the more I love it. It truly honors children's play as meaningful and intentional and clearly demonstrates play as the foundation for the development of skills that c
Amy Musser
This concept book draws comparisons between structures built by children and buildings designed by famous architects. Each two page spread features an illustration on the left-hand side of children and a structure they have built from everyday objects: cardboard boxes, sofa cushions, blankets and chairs, blocks, Legos, and more. On the right side is a photograph of a building that corresponds in shape, color, material, or aesthetic. The illustrations depict a variety of skin and hair colors and ...more
Stephanie Croaning
I judge books by their covers, and didn't feel I would be all that into this book celebrating building, but it really took me by surprise. Stunning! Fifteen different buildings are reviewed, from the Guggenheim to the Paper Tube School. Each school gets a two-page spread that features a photo of the building on one page and a poem and illustration of children at play on the other. The poems celebrate the architectural style and feel, while the illustration shows the architecture of the building ...more
An amazing book to introduce children to how their building blocks, legos, tent blankets etc. relate to actual buildings. Very few words - excellent illustrations and photos. Additional information about the buildings referenced and their international architects are included in the back.
Through an innovative mix of illustrations and text, this celebration of children at play showcases how imaginative architects use a foundation of simple concepts and materials to create surprising and whimsical structures.

Each two-page spread consists of an illustration of children building and a concrete poem that describes their activity on the left; on the right is a photograph of a real-life structure that echoes the spirit of the illustration.

The narrative is supplemented by information a
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
This is a book where each set of pages has a concrete poem on the left side of the page and building on the other. It is showing children different building structures, while also giving them an example of concrete poetry.

The book is very nice because the pictures of the building on the right side are actual pictures, while the pictures on the left side are drawn. However the children see how the words in the poem both describe the building and the poems are shaped like th
Hale, C. (2012). Dreaming up: A celebration of building. New York: Lee and Low Books.

Picture Book

This book uses rhyming text, illustrations, and photographs to explore the joy of building things. Each 2 page spread features an illustration of children building a structure with everyday objects like playing cards, Legos or sticks - and on the opposite page is a photograph of an actual building or structure that is similar in style to the children's building.

For example, there is an illustration
The thought that went into this book amazes me. The book highlights some amazing architecture. What sets the book apart though, is that for every structure, there is a mixed media illustration of young children creating a similar structure with everyday materials such as stacking cubes, legos, mud or even the cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls. There is also a concrete poem that also speaks of the children's creations while it gives the reader another way to imagine or "see" the shapes that ...more
Roberta Gibson

No matter what the materials are, children love to stack and build. The new picture book, Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale, is sure to help them reach to even greater heights.

Picture a lovely illustration of children building with different materials accompanied with a intriguing shape poem that describes what they are doing. Now turn the page and there is a full color photograph of a real building that mimics the ideas from the play version, bigger
Kristi Bernard
Do your young readers make forts out of pillows or build make believe houses from popsicle sticks or old cardboard boxes? If so, they will absolutely love what's in these pages. If you have young readers who have never tried building anything on their own, they will love all of the wonderful ideas presented here. Parents and teachers will love the rhyme that's introduced on every page. Young readers will love looking at the pictures of kids building with plastic stackable toys, cared board boxes ...more
Angela Marie
Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale is a great informational picture book that compares the buildings that children create with blocks and other toys to great architectural structures. On the left side of the page it shows something that a child has created and on the right side it shows a photograph of an actual building that looks like the child's creation. My favorite page was the book described building a hideaway out of blankets and chairs becuase that is what I always ...more
Jan 03, 2013 Valerie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: pb
Imagine yourself as a child again, building with your favorite blocks. Were they wooden, balanced precariously or placed precisely? Was cardboard a favored construction material for you, or were you fond, perhaps, of Lego or other snap together pieces? Think back, just for a moment; remember the feeling you had as architect, as master builder, as creator of contained space. Then read Dreaming Up ,by Christy Hale and relive that feeling and much more.
Hale has not only captured the wonder of chil
Wilhelmina Jenkins
A beautiful multicultural celebration of building, with structures created by children on the pages on the left coupled with real architectural buildings with similar characteristics on the pages on the right. A concrete poem is written for each with words arranged in the shape of the structure. Information about the architects of the buildings are in the back pages of the book and they are diverse as well. A beautiful book! For children 4 and up.
This is a neat book showing young kids building structures with blocks, sand, Legos, etc. on one side and a picture of a real structure on the other side. The books is full of concrete poetry as it takes the shape of those structures. It helps you to see that play is important and leads to building wonderful things as adults. In the back of the book you will find information about all of the structures in book.
My second grade students were mesmermized (unexpectedly, admittedly) by how the young children's blocks matched to the actual architecture featured in the book, which also matched the concrete poems about the architecture. The back matter was especially fascinating to them- we flipped back and forth to get information about the real buildings, what the architect looked like, and in which country it was built.
There aren't many good books on architecture for very young children, and this book fits the bill beautifully. On the left page is a drawing of kids playing and on the right page is an actual building reminiscent of that play. I've never seen the Sagrada Familia compared to a sand castle, but it works, and why not compare architecture to play? Building really does come naturally to children, after all :)
Allison Parker
This book bridges the worlds of a child's imaginative play with the work of modern architects. On the left page, the reader sees a collage, mix-media scene of children constructing, assembling, or creating something, from sand castles to pillow forts, always accompanied by a bit of poetry whose form beautifully reflects the children's work. Then on the right, the author presents a full-page photograph of a building, its image and construction uncannily similar to what the children are making. It ...more
Right after we finished reading this book, my 5 year old had to go find a cardboard box to make a house and the 3 year old got the blocks out and built a castle. The poems are fun and I love the visual comparison between kids play and architecture. The information about each building and architect are interesting too. And my kids obviously found it inspirational for their play.
Using the techniques of rime, rhythm, concrete poetry and painting, Hale portrays children at play using sticks, building blocks, mud, sticks, cushions and blanket to build model buildings, sandcastles and playhouses for themselves on the verso pages of her picture book. Juxtaposed to these on the recto pages are color photographs of significant works of world architecture that reflect the techniques that the children are using. Next to the painting and poem of two children at the shore building ...more
Laura Salas
What a cool concept! Hale takes different building activities for kids (cushion forts, Legos, building blocks, etc.) and describes each one in a poem. Then the right page of the spread has a photo of a real building/structure out in the world, designed by a noteworth architect, that uses the a related activity/process.

For instance, one spread shows kids building with Legos and has this poem:

One by one,
block by block,
plastic shapes

Yellow, red,
white, and black,
all connect
in a stack.

This book just hit me straight at the heart. As a kid I wanted to be an architech...I would play with Lego, look at floor plans of houses, and dream. I wasn't good at math and was told to be an architect you needed to be good at math...well now with CAD...who needs math but oh well. I have studies architecture on my own and love buildings.

This book takes major architecture around the world and puts it in child like terms. Cups can be stacked that the towers in Malaysia, Lego's can be like a hou
Melissa Mcavoy
Rhythmic text and an international point of view celebrate and inspire children’s love of construction. Typical children’s structures: sandcastles, pillow forts, are paired with actual buildings that mirror the children’s creations. Backmatter provides details about the buildings and their architects.
This is a really cool little book that, at first glance, might seem to be just for toddlers and preschoolers: the crowd that is usually stacking cups and boxes and what have you up as tall as themselves. But Hale takes it further: each spread has on one page a child or children building something creative out of some particular materials--and a nice multicultural approach here, urban/rural, etc. The facing page shows a real building made out of similar materials and having a similar shape. The a ...more
Allison Fortunato
I really liked this book because whatever the children were constructing on the left side of the book , there was the an actual structure like they one they were on the other page. I thought this feature of the book was the best part.
Dreaming Up is a book capable of spanning a wide range of children's interest levels. I love the way the type graphics mirror the building styles. It'll be great inspiration for the next generation of builders and dreamers.
Melissa Gruber
I really enjoyed this book. I love that the illustrator used photos as a comparison between what children build and real life architecture. I thought it was really cool to see the comparisons between the two.
This is a case where form forgoes functionality--and unfortunately it diminishes readability. The poems mimic the shape and structure of the architecture. I wasn't sure in which order to read lines of the poem.
Really neat to see how childhood "toys" become real structures.
Misses the mark by not putting the location/name of building with the actual picture. It's listed in the back but looses the continuity.
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