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The Picture-Book Club > April 2018: Building and Engineering (Discuss Club Reads Here)

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Mar 21, 2018 04:56PM) (new)


message 2: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
I am really excited about this batch of books and also hopeful that some/all will be good to share with my builder-engineer five-year-old ;-) They are trickling in to the library and I hope to be back with some reviews later this week. Happy reading!


message 3: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
Construction is one I've read previously with my sons. It's not really a book that wows me personally, but they enjoyed it and I can appreciate what is presented. It's nice to see the construction of the building as it progresses and I especially like that the building in question is a library! ;-)


message 4: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece I really wanted to love this book and thought that I would, but ultimately it fell a little short of my expectations. I think the authors and illustrator put in a valiant effort (I really appreciated their notes at the end) at what appeared to be a difficult task -- describing and illustrating "a house like no other." The writing style was sometimes pleasantly poetical and sometimes a bit all-over for me (I can't help thinking it would have just flowed better in past tense?) but I think they succeeded in showcasing the special nature of Fallingwater. I wanted more from the illustrations, too. I felt that they gave a sense (both in style and in substance) of Fallingwater but I didn't really feel that I got to know Fallingwater itself any better through the book. I wanted more clear illustrations of what the house looked like inside, what we got seemed such little snippets. Still, I think the book succeeded in showing how one can dream new dreams and achieve new heights at any age, that thinking outside the box can be wonderful, and that a home built *with* the land, and not simply *on* the land, can be very special, indeed.


message 5: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
Fort-Building Time

Megan Wagner Lloyd's Fort-Building Time is indeed and for all intents and purposes a sweet enough poetic little paean to the four seasons, rhythmically, pleasurably capturing their many potential joys (and of course also repeatedly pointing out that forts can be built in the winter, in the spring, in the summer and in the autumn, and that ergo, every season is fort-building time). However, I personally do very much think that the author's, that Megan Wagner Lloyd's featured and presented text, while most definitely rollicking, fun and with a gentle lyricism, is also and sadly much too annoyingly thin and woefully sparse in detail, and especially with regard to how the various and seasonal forts (from igloos in the winter to elaborate tree houses in the fall) are actually meant to be constructed, as yes indeed, from the title of the book, from Fort-Building Time, I was in fact and actually expecting this and have felt quite disappointed that the step-by-step processes of the actual building of the various children's forts do not ever even remotely seem to appear.

Therefore, from a reading pleasure point of view, and because Fort-Building Time has not in any way been what I was indeed expecting, only a two star ranking at best, for while the author's verses are certainly fun and also evocative to a point, there is just not enough to satisfy me or my inner child emotionally, realistically and textually (especially since Abigail Halpin's brightly fun and colourful accompanying illustrations do seem to promise a myriad of possible narrational details and information on the various "buildings" that sadly never really to and for me fully much materialize). And honestly, if you have young children who are interested in building and construction as a theme and were actually considering Fort-Building Time for them, there really (in my opinion) is not much if any actual construction and building specifically and textually shown.


message 6: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6182 comments Mod
I didn't particularly care for Rosie Revere, Engineer. The rhyming text distracted me almost as much as seeing Rosie and grandma wearing their hair over one eye, making them half-blind. The theme is important, but didn't need to be told in such a preachy manner. Imo.


message 7: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (last edited Apr 07, 2018 02:28PM) (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6182 comments Mod
The inside art in Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building is better than the cover (at least of my edition, which gave the man's skin a bright red tone). I liked that the illustrative paintings were full of color and life, but that also included were b&w photos.

Between the text and the story, we get a lot of information in a concise format. A brief note is welcome but doesn't really add anything substantial.

Probably a 4 or 5 star read if you're interested in the subject; I'd give it 3, myself.


message 8: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I didn't particularly care for Rosie Revere, Engineer. The rhyming text distracted me almost as much as seeing Rosie and grandma wearing their hair over one eye, making them half-bl..."

Oops that does not sound too promising.


message 9: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6182 comments Mod
i have to be honest, I just can't put my finger on anything to like or dislike about Mr. Ferris and His Wheel. I look forward to reactions from you-all.


message 10: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 09, 2018 05:55AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I didn't particularly care for Rosie Revere, Engineer. The rhyming text distracted me almost as much as seeing Rosie and grandma wearing their hair over one eye, making them half-bl..."

I just read the book, and the rhyming is as you point out distracting, not to mention awkard and forced. And considering I have read far far too many preachy picture books lately, the message, while important, kind of makes me feel as though I am being hit over the head with it.

Now perhaps if Andrea Beaty's presented poetry had been la trifle less awkward and stumbling (and with that, also not so frustratingly distracting and personally annoying) and if her oh so very much important messages had been less in one's proverbial face and thus not so maddeningly preachy (about being courageous, about not being afraid of making mistakes, about trying again and again if and when disasters do occur, and yes, these are indeed important lessons for EVERYONE), I might have actually enjoyed Rosie Revere, Engineer. However, the combination of the author's unsubtly rendered (often choppy, halting) lyrics (which both thematically and textually have felt rather woefully contrived, artificial and as though Andrea Beaty is just trying way too hard) and David Roberts's bright but exceedingly over-busy (and caricature like) illustrations have truly and sadly rubbed me the wrong way (also quite frankly, especially David Roberts' depictions of humans and in particular Rosie and her family, well sorry, while some readers might indeed consider them fun and playful, my own aesthetic conscience feels as though he is actually kind of poking exaggerated fun, almost as though David Roberts wants with his pictorial renderings to promote and even celebrate the attitude and impression that intelligent, that imaginative and innovative people, such as Rosie Revere and some of her nearest and dearest, must by mere necessity also appear as physically different and warped, with weird clothing, strangely coiffed hair styles and the like).

And although I would certainly not go as far as not recommending Rosie Revere, Engineer, for me, the book is quite simply too overtly sermonisinng, too much like being hit over the head with a rubber mallet and therefore just not all that special and successfully coneptualised to be even remotely a pleasurable personal reading experience, both as an older adult and also, truth be told, I would most likely not have all that much enjoyed the sermonising messages as a child either (and indeed, if I were to rate Rosie Revere, Engineer according to how much I actually have managed to find actual lasting pleasure and appreciation in my reading experience, I would probably be considering just one star for Rosie Revere, Engineer, and my two star rating is definitely rather generous and really only because, Andrea Beaty's rather preachy narrative notwithstanding, I do very much agree with the important messages she presents and features).


message 11: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "i have to be honest, I just can't put my finger on anything to like or dislike about Mr. Ferris and His Wheel. I look forward to reactions from you-all."

I really enjoyed it, but it wasn't *extra-special* to me. The illustrations didn't wow me, though they did a decent job conveying a feel for the era and showing what was going on with the wheel. I liked the little side-notes adding depth to the story/history though I just skipped them when I did the read-aloud with my sons and filled in later since it would break-up the flow of the story. I appreciated the incorporation of actual quotes from the historical figures and felt that we got a sense of Mr. Ferris' personality (or, at least, his extreme pride in the field of engineering!) and the remarkable accomplishment in conceiving, designing, financing and building the wheel really came through for me. I'm also personally just really interested in the worlds fairs so this was right up my ally. If anyone knows of other good picture books about worlds fairs, please let me know :-)

Cheryl, I guess Ferris is something of a hometown hero in your area? Is the mill wheel that they reference in the book any sort of historical landmark or has it long since been lost to time?


message 12: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 08, 2018 03:40PM) (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "I didn't particularly care for Rosie Revere, Engineer. The rhyming text distracted me almost as much as seeing Rosie and grandma wearing their hair over one eye, maki..."

You know, I opened Rosie Revere, Engineer and just could not get interested in reading it. The illustrations are so odd and distracting that I didn't think my son would like it and it seemed to focus too much on teasing and such so I gave it a pass for reading together. I'll pick it up later and read it myself but I have a feeling I will be disappointed, too, after all the hype (and I did like Iggy Peck, Architect quite a bit).


message 13: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 08, 2018 03:50PM) (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "Fort-Building Time

Megan Wagner Lloyd's Fort-Building Time is indeed and for all intents and purposes a sweet enough poetic little paean to the four seasons, rhythmically, pleasura..."


I definitely see where you are coming from on this, Gundula. I, too, was surprised and disappointed that it didn't show more actual *building* of the forts. I did enjoy it more than you, on the whole, for what it was. Here's my review:

I expected this book to be more *active* in terms of showing children actively engaged in *building* forts. Instead, we see some really beautiful forts *after* they have been built and we see the children enjoying being in/around/on the forts. It's clear the children built the forts, but we don't see anything of the construction process until the final pages of the book for only one fort out of the five shown.

That said, I did really enjoy the book for what it is: a celebration of the seasons and of children's imaginations and how one can fuel the other. The lyricism of the text is a pleasure to read-aloud and the illustrations are at once bright and gentle, full of spirit and repose, showing that forts can be places for fun as well as contemplation. Some children may feel frustrated that they do not have access to the beautiful natural spaces depicted in these pages, but fortunately the final pages do show children engaged in building an indoor fort with the typical materials of pillows and blankets and such, and it also shows that sometimes forts topple and that the design needs some rethinking ;-) but that is just part of the fun on the way to a delightful finished product.


message 14: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "I didn't particularly care for Rosie Revere, Engineer. The rhyming text distracted me almost as much as seeing Rosie and grandma wearing their hair ..."

Oh I am so glad Cheryl and I are not the only ones feeling blah about this. It presents a good message, but the way said message is presented just feels forced, and like you, I really find the illustrations too busy (and yes, the teasing got a bit much).


message 15: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Fort-Building Time

Megan Wagner Lloyd's Fort-Building Time is indeed and for all intents and purposes a sweet enough poetic little paean to the four seasons, rhyt..."


How did your son enjoy this? For me, it sure was a bit of a let-down, as I do think the title is misleading.


message 16: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 08, 2018 03:55PM) (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: "How did your son enjoy this? "

I didn't present any of the books in a "let's learn about building" sort of way, they just showed up in the library stack ;-) so I don't think he had any expectations like you and I did. Both the boys seemed to enjoy the storytelling but neither have asked for a re-read so there's your answer ;-) I agree the title is rather misleading and it should be something more like "A Celebration of Seasonal Forts" -- well, nothing that prosaic, but you get the idea. "Fort-Building" just implies more, well, *building*!

Actually, my oldest son responded most to Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece -- he was really captivated by the idea of building a house over a waterfall and wanted to design a house that could float on the ocean ;-)


message 17: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 08, 2018 03:57PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "How did your son enjoy this? "

I didn't present any of the books in a "let's learn about building" sort of way, they just showed up in the library stack ;-) so I don't think he h..."


I have not read Fallingwater but it is on my to read list. It does look appealing although I see from your own review that you were not wowed by it.

I am glad that Fort Building Time was enjoyable for them.


message 18: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "How did your son enjoy this? "

I didn't present any of the books in a "let's learn about building" sort of way, they just showed up in the library stack ;-) so I don't think he h..."


How about Fun Forts Through the Season? But you know some smart little kid will replace ths o with an a ...


message 19: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6182 comments Mod
I was surprised, honestly, to learn that Ferris had a tie with Nevada. I don't recall him every being mentioned in my 22 years here. I'll try to remember to ask my youngest son, as he did go through the school system here.


message 20: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6182 comments Mod
Guy Rocha made it a focus of his life-work to unravel & debunk tangled & overstated local legends. In this article he says stuff that makes the information in the picture-book seem inaccurate, unfortunately. Even worse, Ferris died at age 37, possibly due in part to stress because he wasn't compensated for his investment in and work on behalf of the World's Fair.

http://nevadamagazine.com/home/archiv...


message 21: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
LOL, Gundula ;-)


message 22: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
Ah, what a pity, Cheryl. The book seemed well researched.


message 23: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Apr 09, 2018 12:28PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2276 comments Mod
Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece
I gave this book 5 stars partly because I felt it accomplished the goal of telling readers about the inception and construction of the house; and had interesting info about Frank L. Wright. No, it didn't really go into detail about the interiors, as it concentrated on the design of the exterior, and how it fit into the landscape around it.
However, the book did send me to Google to look for more images of the house, and I also found the website for the house, which is now open to tourists. Incidentally, it does have magnificent interiors. This house is now officially on my bucket list.


message 24: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2276 comments Mod
Construction
I liked that this book is a very simple explanation for young children as to how a building is constructed from the ground up. I also liked the fact that it turned out to be a library!


message 25: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2276 comments Mod
Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building
This book is classified as picture book fiction in my library system, since the information on building the Empire State Building is encased in a story about a boy and his father following the construction. Otherwise, it is a clear, but brief, explanation of the different types of workers who were involved in the construction--derrick men, water boys, heaters, catchers, buckers-up, gunmen, etc. I especially liked the double-page spread showing the progress of the building from June through November. The oil paintings are excellent and catch all the excitement of the New Yorkers on the completion of their tallest building in the world.


message 26: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2276 comments Mod
Mr. Ferris and His Wheel
I pretty much agree with Kathryn's opinion of the book-- it did a decent job of describing the building of this enormous amusement park ride, but otherwise, did not stand out in any particular way.


message 27: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2276 comments Mod
Rosie Revere, Engineer
I may have liked the book just a teeny bit better than the other opinions here, because I liked it showing a girl trying to build things and engineer things. Otherwise, I agree with the opinions about the rhyming text, the preachy tone, and the cluttered illustrations.


message 28: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Rosie Revere, Engineer
I may have liked the book just a teeny bit better than the other opinions here, because I liked it showing a girl trying to build things and engineer things. ..."


I found the illustrations especially cluttered and trying on the kindle.


message 29: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece
I gave this book 5 stars partly because I felt it accomplished the goal of telling readers about the inception and con..."


It would be a wonderful place to visit! I, too, am very intrigued. I was going to ask if any of our members have been lucky enough to visit? I hope you'll get to go one day, Beverly! :-)


message 30: by V (new)

V | 11 comments Manybooks wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "I didn't particularly care for Rosie Revere, Engineer. The rhyming text distracted me almost as much as seeing Rosie and grandma wea..."

I read this with my son and he didn't really understand why Rosie was being laughed it. He looked like he wanted to cry when she felt bad, and I struggled to explain to a three year old why someone laughing would make Rosie feel bad.

This had been a selection at storytime a year or two ago, and I remember having a great impression of it. That's why I suggested for this month. Upon revisiting it with a child who now discusses books, my impression is more mixed. I enjoyed seeing the relation to Rosie the Riveter, but I'm sure this would be over most children's heads. My son said he liked it, and he was happy to see that Aunt Rose got to fly on the final page, but needed some comprehension help. Usually, we can talk more about our thoughts on a book, but with this book, he asked for more explanations.


message 31: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 14, 2018 08:38AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
V wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "I didn't particularly care for Rosie Revere, Engineer. The rhyming text distracted me almost as much as seeing Ros..."

Thanks for the information how a child reacted to the book. There is actually quite a lot of information included for a three year old and the illustrations really are very very busy and sometimes at least in my opinion overly detailed.


message 32: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
V wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "I didn't particularly care for Rosie Revere, Engineer. The rhyming text distracted me almost as much as seeing Ros..."

And please do not feel you have to apologise for recommending Rosie Revere, Engineer. It fits the subject and also seems to actually have a lot of positive reviews, so many readers actually have loved this (but even if that were not the case, no need to apologise about recommending a book that thematically fits).


message 33: by Manybooks (last edited Apr 15, 2018 06:26AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
I had to read Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece online as my local library does not yet have a copy (and there is a huge waiting list at that). And really, my reaction has been at best a bit blah, as the book seems to describe more the importance of following one's dreams than how the famous house was actually built (and yes, that there were no pictures of the inside of the house really is a major shortcoming, but even with the external, there is just not enough "how was this actually built" for me). And while I definitely appreciate the author's notes and bibliography, the fact remains that because I was reading the book online, the printed words were so minuscule that I could hardly read them even whilst wearing my reading glasses.

In fact, the few pages on Fallingwater and Frank Lloyd Wright that I have just read in Didier Cornille's Modern Houses: Who Built That?: An Introduction to the Modern House and Their Architects are vastly superior in my opinion, showing not only how Fallingwater was built (not extensively, but with enough information to get a good overview) and above all, also showing an illustration of the inside of the house and that the inside of Fallingwater was designed to be a bit like a cave.


message 34: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Apr 23, 2018 06:46AM) (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
I finally read Rosie Revere, Engineer and ended up liking it better than I expected. Perhaps it's because Rosie reminds me so much of my son with all of her inventions and creative use of building materials ;-) I appreciated that the "girl power" element was present but not too forced (the inclusion of the Rosie the Riveter figure as her grandmother was nice) and I think boys and girls could both enjoy the story. Unfortunately, the illustrations were quite jarring for me. Also, I've been trying to figure out what aspect of the story keeps nagging at me and I think it's the "laughing at failure" bit. I think it's a great message for children (anyone) to learn to take their failures in stride, with a sense of humor, as a stepping stone toward better success. But, I do think that laughing at someone *else's* failure is... maybe not such a good idea? Unless you are really good friends and know that your laughter will not be misinterpreted as derision? I don't know, maybe I am not giving young readers enough credit here and they can sort through the message to the heart of the matter. Overall, this book not destined to become a favorite thought I can see why it is popular right now and I do think it has merit for the right reader.


message 35: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6182 comments Mod
I finally got a chance to read Fort-Building Time, having almost forgotten why and therefore having no expectations. And I loved it!

The children seem a little older than I am accustomed to in picture-books like this... and the only 'blanket' forts any of us ever built were only appropriate for preschoolers... but that makes this book all the more charming. Why shouldn't 'big kids' make more elaborate and fantastical forts with their friends? I love all the details in the pictures, and the poetical language, too.

Note that the little sister isn't old enough to play with the gang until Fall, but then is welcomed by all. And note that the front and back endpapers extend the story. This one's a keeper.


message 36: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5655 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I finally got a chance to read Fort-Building Time, having almost forgotten why and therefore having no expectations. And I loved it!

The children seem a little older than I am ac..."


I'm so glad you got to read this one, Cheryl! We really enjoyed it, too.


message 37: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2276 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I finally got a chance to read Fort-Building Time, having almost forgotten why and therefore having no expectations. And I loved it! "

Last April, our library did not have any copies of this book. I just happened to see it today while I was at work, and snatched it up, and checked to see if this was the book that had been discussed, and yes it was. Apparently, our library system purchased copies in August.
Anyway...I think it is a charming book, and I liked it as much as everyone else. I thought the illustrations were very appealing, and captured all the fun of making different types of forts through the year.


message 38: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6182 comments Mod
That's a good reminder... if there's a certain book you want, and your library doesn't have it, and it's current, they may still buy it so check again! I'm glad you spotted yours'.


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