Frank Lloyd Wright, a young boy from the prairie, becomes America's first world-famous architect in this inspirational nonfiction picture book introducing organic architecture -- a style he created based on the relationship between buildings and the natural world -- which transformed the American home.
Frank Lloyd Wright loved the Wisconsin prairie where he was born, with its wide-open sky and waves of tall grass. As his family moved across the United States, young Frank found his own home in shapes: rectangles, triangles, half-moons, and circles. When he returned to his beloved prairie, Frank pursued a career in architecture. But he didn't think the Victorian-era homes found there fit the prairie landscape. Using his knowledge and love of shapes, Frank created houses more organic to the land. He redesigned the American home inside and out, developing a truly unique architecture style that celebrated the country's landscape and lifestyle.
Author Barb Rosenstock and artist Christopher Silas Neal explore the early life and creative genius of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, highlighting his passion, imagination, and ingenuity.
An obsession with shapes serves as a leitmotif as Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) grows to be a master architect. In Rosenstock's telling, his aesthetic was rooted in a childhood love of his Wisconsin prairie home's natural geometries ("oval milkweed seeds, six-sided honeycombs, and triangle-faced badgers") and his fascination with blocks. Wright's awareness of spatial forms leads to his feeling that "the old European-style houses didn't fit America's landscape," so he strikes out on his own, designing radically different buildings. "In Frank's houses, people stood on shapes, sat on shapes, slept on shapes. They looked through shapes, ate off shapes, played by shape-light." Neal's stylized illustrations are geometrically anchored, with crisp lines and shapes that occasionally echo Wright's signature patterning, and the earnest, informative narrative centers the subject's relatable interests. Substantial supplemental materials include an author's note, sources, and multiple photos of his work, where, "like magic, he shook dozens of shapes from his shirtsleeves." Ages 7-10. (Sept.)Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gr 2-5—In this picture book biography of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Rosenstock emphasizes the development of Wright's unique architectural vision; he grew up to believe that houses should fit the landscapes surrounding them and the lifestyle of families living in them. He thought that houses should also include the basic shapes that he had grown to love as a young boy. Instead of focusing on specific buildings Wright created, this book highlights the roots of his thinking—how what he believed as a boy influenced what he did as a grown man. These ideas are reinforced by Neal's illustrations. The rolling, colorful prairie of Wisconsin that Wright loved is in contrast with the gray, rocky coast of New England where his family moved when he was nine. Neal also contrasts the old-style European houses being built on the prairie with Wright's newer vision of a prairie house that fit the landscape. Back matter deepens understanding of Wright's delight in shapes and natural landscapes, and includes photographs of the subject and some of his outstanding architecture. VERDICT An excellent introduction to the ideas behind Wright's architecture. Use with K.L. Going's The Shape of the World and Lynda Waggoner's Fallingwater to learn more about the man who has been called America's greatest architect.—Myra Zarnowski, City University of New YorkCopyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.