Friday, October 05, 2012

Review: Dreaming Up

by Christy Hale. Lee and Low, 2012. (netgalley review copy) Christy Hale has put together a collection of charming concrete poems celebrating children's favorite building toys and activities. Each full page spread shows children engaged in building projects paired with photos of actual buildings that mirror the profile of the children's buildings. Architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Cesar Pelli, Hassan Fathy, Maya Lin, Kenzo Tange and Moshe Safadie are represented in gorgeous photographs of their buildings and featured with short biographies in the end notes. Each one tells a bit about how they grew interested in building while growing up.

The poems are short and playful. I love how they speak of children creating their own spaces and inhabiting the world built to their dreaming. It shouldn't be a surprise how completely the actual buildings match the play buildings; but it was often a delightful surprise. Take a look at a preview of the following two poems and their illustrations at the Lee and Low site.

Earth and water,
sun and air,
all around
Cold and wet,
hot and dry,
mixed together -
make mud pie.

This poem is written in the round, circling a child making mud pies. Paired with this is a photo of Hassan Fathy's New Gourna Village near Luxor, Egypt.

Here's another one I really like, with an illustration of a girl peeking out of a box she's made into a house. How many times have we done that in my house! Your house?

Open the top
and in I hop,
poke out a square to see who's there,
pull in the flap to hide from view -
Can you see me? I see you!

The facing page shows Maya Lin's Box House in Telluride, CO.

This book will be a big hit with young children who love to build forts, hideouts, or play with construction toys. If you like is as much as I did you might want to nominate it for a Cybils. (I've used my one shot for poetry.) The Cybils awards are given each year by bloggers for the year's best children's and young adult titles. Nominations open to the public on October 1st. Have you put in your favorite children's books from 2012? Go take a look at what's on the list so far!

Friday Poetry is hosted this week by Laura at Writing the World for Kids. Enjoy!


Author Amok said...

Hi, Andi. I love Christy Hale's work and she's also a lovely person. I've been waiting for this book to come out for my 12-year-old, who is interested in architecture. Thanks for the review!

jama said...

Thanks for featuring this one. Hadn't heard of it before.

laurasalas said...

This looks very cool! Thanks, Andi!

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Oooh...this sounds wonderful. And thanks for the links, AndI.

Mary Lee said...

Love the pairings with real architecture! Gotta see this one!!

Robyn Hood Black said...

What a wonderful concept! Thanks so much for sharing, and congrats to Christy Hale. I think kids will eat it up. (My son's "forts" used to extend from room to room...)

Joyce Ray said...

Thanks for this review. I love the mud pies poem and learned something new by clicking the link and watching New Gourna Village video.