October 27, 2015

Architecture Books for Kids

We recommend these books for kids and adults.

 

Any purchases through our Amazon links provide critical support to archKIDecture.

 

  amazon logo Thanks a ton! Any purchases through our Amazon links provide critical support to archKIDecture.
Socks Are Like Pants, Cats Are Like Dogs: Games, Puzzles, and Activities for Choosing, Identifying, and Sorting Math   An arts teacher collected these interesting ways to teach kids about math and geometry, much of which is related to architecture.
A is for Architecture   A 26 page illustrated book with a word that describes the line drawing on the page. Nice drawings by a real architect.
 Coloring Architecture: a built environment coloring book   A coloring book with drawings of interior spaces that are so much fun to color! (OK, we admit that we wrote it at archKIDecture!)
A Few Blocks A sweet story of siblings and creative play. You will like these illustrations.
Origami Playhouse: Fold, Play & Display! A well-designed box creativity set with a 3D pop-up space with rooms to place the origami folded furniture that you make. A nice project to work on with an adult and child.
Who Was Frank Lloyd Wright? Who Was Frank Lloyd Wright? Part of a series of books for 8-12 year olds, this story of Frank Lloyd Wright is written as a straight-forward and cleaned-up version of this complicated man whe was also an incredible designer and thinker.
All the Buildings in New York: That I’ve Drawn So Far Illustrations of New York City buildings, not always famous, but always interesting with lots of details. See what we wrote about it.
 Who Built That? Skyscrapers: An Introduction to Skyscrapers and Their Architects  Who Built That? Skyscrapers: An Introduction to Skyscrapers and Their Architects by Cornille, Didier (2014) Hardcover Who Built That? Skyscrapers: An Introduction to Skyscrapers and Their Architects

Nice illustrations about various skyscrapers around the world – published in 2014 so it includes all of the newest and coolest buildings, with interesting facts about what makes these structures special. Lots of detail in the illustrations are cool too.

Who Built That? Modern Houses: An Introduction to Modern Houses and Their Architects

 

Who Built That? Modern Houses: An Introduction to Modern Houses and Their Architects

Same as above but not so tall.

Picturing Wright: An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer by Guerrero, Pedro E. (2015) Hardcover   Picturing Wright: An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer

Not a kid’s book, but a book with dreamy photographs of the famous Frank Lloyd Wright and his projects. And photos were taken by his personal photographer so there are intimate stories by someone who knew Frank well.

Secret Paris: Color Your Way to Calm Secret Paris

This coloring book is something we like because we like Paris.

 The Aspiring Architect: An Activity Book for Kids  Travis Kelly Wilson: The Aspiring Architect : An Activity Book for Kids (Paperback); 2013 Edition The Aspiring Architect: An Activity Book for Kids

This is indeed an activity book – with pages to color, words to search and buildings to identify. It might be fun for a car ride or to distract a 7-10 year old while you are busy.

In New York  In New York In New York

The New York Times wrote that this book makes New York seem “like a place you want to get lost in” focusing on buildings and fun facts. By the author, Marc Brown, who wrote the Arthur series.

Round Buildings, Square Buildings, and Buildings that Wiggle Like a Fish (A Borzoi book)  Round Buildings, Square Buildings, and Buildings that Wiggle Like a Fish (A Borzoi book) Round Buildings, Square Buildings, and Buildings that Wiggle Like a Fish (A Borzoi book)

With 100 color photographs, this book introduces some basic ideas for observing architecture. There are images of Moorish baths and adobe churches and the Citicorp Center in New York City. Easy to read without too much text.

Moxie: The Dachshund of Fallingwater  Moxie: The Dachshund of Fallingwater Moxie: The Dachshund of Fallingwater

Moxie gives you the dog-eyes perspective of the great architectural wonder of Falling Water, in Pennsylvania

An Eames Primer: Revised Edition An Eames Primer: Revised Edition An Eames Primer: Revised Edition

The Eames’s were significant designers in the 20th century, truly changing the way things were manufactured and designed. They designed spaces, their incredible studio, toys, films and other stuff too. This book is an introduction to them and their ideas, written by their grandson, whose first name is Eames.

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

We like this book very much, The illustrations are paired up: there are kids playing with a variety of toys on the left page and a real building on the right page and they work together to illustrate the simple poems that are written with the images. And the back of the book has a listing of all of the real buildings with info on the architects who designed them too.

Pop-Up London Pop-Up London Pop-Up London

For those of you with an interest in the architecture of London, voila! But keep away from young kids who tend to rip the pages up in any pop-up!

The Modern Architecture Pop-Up Book The Modern Architecture Pop-Up Book

See how modern architecture looks in a 3-dimensional perspective with this book

 Designs by Frank Lloyd Wright Coloring Book (Frank Lloyd Wright Collection)  Designs by Frank Lloyd Wright Coloring Book (Frank Lloyd Wright Collection) Designs by Frank Lloyd Wright Coloring Book (Frank Lloyd Wright Collection)

And if you like Frank’s architecture, you are going to like these patterns that he designed too. Try coloring with your favorite markers or crayons

If I Built a House If I Built a House If I Built a House

The story of a boy designing a really crazy house – like you might do

The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale

Guess who these three pigs are? They are modeled on Phillip Johnson, Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright – Three Big-Time, famous American architects!

Christopher Wren: The Avian Architect  Christopher Wren: The Avian Architect Christopher Wren: The Avian Architect

For kids around 3rd-5th grade, this story is about a bird trying to build the best birdhouse ever.

Need A House? Call Ms. Mouse!  Need A House? Call Ms. Mouse Need A House? Call Ms. Mouse

Great detailed illustrations with  a female architect as the hero. That is sort of unusual in itself!

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

This book is pretty sophisticated for kids, but it does have some interesting stories about how to tackle problems by creating smaller issues to solve and then working the whole thing out bit by bit. There are some good tidbits about Frank Gehry and his solutions to designing complex structures.

Origami Architecture: Papercraft Models of the World’s Most Famous Buildings [Full-Color Book & Instructional DVD] Origami Architecture: Papercraft Models of the World’s Most Famous Buildings [Full-Color Book & Instructional DVD] Origami Architecture: Papercraft Models of the World’s Most Famous Buildings

Make your own buildings out of paper using the great photo lessons in the book, as well as the patterns from the CD. Intricate and delicate, this is geared for any child who can master an arts knife, like an exacto. We recommend this for folks who like to do detailed work.By Yee.

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place

E.L. Konigsburg wrote “From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler“, which was one of our favorite books as kids. I think that this book is wonderful too because of the main character, a girl who has a lot of fight in her – a girl willing to stand up for what she believes in – and it happens to be an architectural structure.

Visual Dictionary of Architecture A Visual Dictionary of Architecture A Visual Dictionary of Architecture

By Frank Ching. Him again? The illustrations in this book are pretty great. It would be fun to look through and start a conversation with a child based on these drawings and ideas. They can trace things from it, you can blow up some of the illustrations and color them in, you can try to use the illustrations to find examples in your neighborhood.

Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design

This is an interesting resource for someone who thinks that being an architect would be the greatest thing to do. There are interviews with real live architects and we get to find out why someone might have become an architect and what kinds of challenges he or she faces.
It feels like you are conversing with real live architects – and that is so great.

Buildings without Architects: A Global Guide to Everyday Architecture Buildings without Architects: A Global Guide to Everyday Architecture Buildings without Architects: A Global Guide to Everyday Architecture

If you ever want to know about an Indlu or a Ger, or if you have been thinking that you would like to build a house of reeds, like many other people do in the world – this book is a great resource. It has drawings of tons of different kinds of buildings, with illustrations showing the process for building and also a list of materials that are used. Get to it and you can build right away!

13 Buildings Children Should Know 13 Buildings Children Should Know 13 Buildings Children Should Know

So you probably are asking, “Why 13?” “Why not 11 or 12 or 632?”
Perhaps this author thought that 13 was a lucky number! For kids around 10 years old, this book has some activities and stuff to do, besides read, and that might be interesting for some of you, younguns.

Steven Caney’s Ultimate Building Book Steven Caney’s Ultimate Building Book: Including More Than 100 Incredible Projects Kids Can Make! Steven Caney’s Ultimate Building Book: Including More Than 100 Incredible Projects Kids Can Make!

We thought this was a really cool book that was so chock full of ideas, you
might not need another book! WE love this book and hope to meet Steve someday
to talk over the ideas with him.

Iggy Peck, Architect Iggy Peck, Architect Iggy Peck, Architect

By Andrea Beaty, this is a funny, sort of quirky book about
a little kid who is a self-starter…and who does his own thing, to eventually
save the day!

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure) A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

By Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa,and Murray Silverstein, this fasciniating book – it is not a story book but a unique book that works almost like a workbook for various design issues and solutions – it is for older kids or adults and so very interesting we could not resist listing it here!

The ABC Book of American Homes The ABC Book of American Homes The ABC Book of American Homes

By Michael Shoulders is a book we like because it helps kids to see that people live in ALL kinds of houses, not just the ones that they are used to seeing around their own neighborhoods.

 

Old Penn Station

Old Penn Station Old Penn Station

By William Low, this book is a great close-up of a place. This old train station in New York City has been torn down, but it is a great memory book about how that place made people feel.
Maybe it will make you fight for preservation of our historic buildings!!

Gargoyles, Girders & Glass Houses Gargoyles, Girders & Glass Houses Gargoyles, Girders & Glass Houses

By Bo Zaunders, Gargoyles, Girders and Glass Houses is a close-up look at the construction of a few famous structures from around the world. Author Bo picked some really
great buildings to focus on.

Those Building Men Those Building Men Those Building Men

By Angela Johnson, Those Building Men is a poetic book that reflects back on all of the men (not women, we are afraid!) who built our buildings, bridges and other structures. It makes you think a bit more abstractly on this concrete subject.

Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing

Written by April Jones Prince, this book is a fun twist
on the story of the Brooklyn Bridge and how the famous circus man, PT Barnum
got involved with it! That is how we get the title about elephants in an
architecture book!

Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Bridge

This book by Lynn Curlee, offers a deeper understanding of the construction of this famous American structure in New York.

Frank O. Gehry: Outside In Frank O. Gehry: Outside In Frank O. Gehry: Outside In

By DK Publishing, is a good introduction to this way out architect! He is a filled with wild ideas and maybe you could learn enough to explain his work to your more conservative friends!

That’s How We Build A House That’s How We Build A House That’s How We Build A House

This is a cool video that teaches real terms about construction and building from blueprinst to construction site to the final finished house. Only 28 minutes, it would work well in a classroom or workshop.

Wood Wood Wood

In this book, the author, Andy Goldsworthy uses natural elements to create forms and shapes to alter the built environment in INCREDIBLE ways. It is an incredible book to peruse over and over to give you great ideas for projects to do outside.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers The Man Who Walked Between the Towers The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

By Mordecai Gerstein. We love this book because the Frenchman is so unbelievable in it and it is a beautiful memory for the World Trade Center.

The Timeless Way of Building The Timeless Way of Building

This is one of our favorite architecture “idea” books. It is costly and sort of mature, but it is the kind of book you can keep your whole life, and just pick it up to think about the built environment in different ways. It is a sort of philosophy that is very good for stretching your brain. It is not directly for young kids, but it can beread and interpreted for them…we know they are smart and wll understand it.

Under Every Roof: A Kid’s Style and Field Guide to the Architecture of American Houses Under Every Roof: A Kid’s Style and Field Guide to the Architecture of American Houses Under Every Roof: A Kid’s Style and Field Guide to the Architecture of American Houses

This is a decent book about American architecture, also known as domestic architecture. I think we would recommend other books before this one, but it might be worth a gander.

Houses and Homes (Around the World Series) Houses and Homes (Around the World Series) Houses and Homes (Around the World Series)

This is a beautiful photographic book about houses around the world, with a multicultural twist. It is a lovely book to look through, without too much text.

Housebuilding for Children: Step-by-Step Plans for Houses Children Can Build Themselves Housebuilding for Children: Step-by-Step Plans for Houses Children Can Build Themselves Housebuilding for Children: Step-by-Step Plans for Houses Children Can Build Themselves

Photos and drawings to help kids and adults to build their own structures. It is a great book for this kind of hands-on activity.

Lee J. Ames: Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures : The Step-By-Step Way to Draw Castles and Cathedrals, Skyscrapers and Bridges, and So Much More… Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures… Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures…

Just as the name implies, you can get a start on learning how to draw some famous buildings in a quick and clear step by step manner that makes it seem so easy. Great for impressing your friends and relatives!

The House on Maple Street The House on Maple Street The House on Maple Street

An interesting idea that covers 300 years at the same spot, from a forest through a house.

The Hidden House The Hidden House The Hidden House

About three dolls living in a cottage, with beautiful illustrations. Sweet and lovely.

Why Buildings Stand Up: The Strength of Architecture Why Buildings Stand Up: The Strength of Architecture Why Buildings Stand Up: The Strength of Architecture

By Mario Salvadori, this book is notorious in the land as one of the main architecture books for kids. There is even a Salvadori Center in New York for kids to study this stuff.

Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas, 21 Activites (For Kids series) Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas, 21 Activites (For Kids series) Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas, 21 Activites

Just like it sounds, this book is an introduction to Frank Lloyd Wright. It is good and we like it.

Fun Projects for You and the Kids: David Stiles Fun Projects for You and the Kids: David Stiles Fun Projects for You and the Kids: David Stiles

You might find some interesting things to build, like a raft or a spaceship, but why is it relevant here? Because you can also build lots of structures, including teepees and castles and houses too.

Unbuilding (Sandpiper) Unbuilding Unbuilding

A David McCauley book with meticulous illustrations and details, this is always fun to look at. With some more information, this would be the base for the whole world explained.

Building Big Building Big Building Big

Another David Macaulay book, but we like this one better. It seems to explain things in a thorough way about why decisions are made when buildings are planned and built.

How to Build Treehouses, Huts and Forts Treehouses, here, there and everywhere. This is an excellent how-to book for building all kinds of treehouses.Everything a young child needs to know about sod houses, but was afraid to ask or did not know how to ask. Or know to ask what a sod house is.
Sod Houses on the Great Plains Everything a young child needs to know about sod houses, but was afraid to ask or did not know how to ask. Or know to ask what a sod house is.
Building a House (Mulberry Books) Building a House (Mulberry Books) Building a House (Mulberry Books)

Byron Barton writes books for the younger set – starting at around 4 year olds. This one is about how buildings get built – obvious, we guess. But it is solid and a good foundation for any kid.

Up Goes the Skyscraper . Up Goes the Skyscraper

Up Goes the Skyscraper by Gail Gibbons is another great book that teaches kids about how a structure is made, with enough nuggets of interest to make it a good read and not a yawner.

How Big Is a Foot? (Young Yearling Book) How Big Is a Foot? How Big Is a Foot?

How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller is about measurement and thus related to architecture and the skills needed to build. We thought it was a clever way to teach young kids about measuring.

Architectural Graphics Architectural Graphics Third Edition Architectural Graphics Third Edition

A book that illustrates and defines what you need to know to make architectural drawings. Interesting as a talking point to start a conversation with students.

There Goes the Neighborhood: 10 Buildings People Loved to Hate There Goes the Neighborhood: 10 Buildings People Loved to Hate  Susan Goldman Rubin wrote this book which has a subtitle of “10 Buildings that People Love to Hate.” For kids aged 8-12, it is a cool book of stories that are sort of behind the scene and make for good storytelling.
 

The City Out My Window: 63 Views on New York The City Out My Window

 

The City Out My Window 63 Views On New York The City Out My Window The City Out My Window: 63 Views on New York

Written by an architect and writer, this author asked 63 people who live in New York, what they see out their windows, and the architect drew the view. What results is a sweet book of people’s perspectives on what they see and how their view from their space effects them. The line drawings are wonderful and the folks who are interviewed are interesting people – artists and musicians and others too.

Famous Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright (Dover History Coloring Book) Famous Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright (Dover History Coloring Book) Famous Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright

A traditional coloring book with the great structures of the big little guy, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Hard Hat Area Hard Hat Area Hard Hat Area

We like this book because it explains how a skyscraper is built, and it features a girl for a change. The collage illustrations are quite nice too. Unfortunately it is out of print, but you can find some used copies.

Gaudi Pop-Ups Gaudi Pop-Ups Gaudi Pop-Ups

As long as we are thinking of Barcelona and Antonio Gaudi, and if we cannot make it to the plane on time, let’s get a 3D look at his fantastic works in this pop-up book. Courtney Watson McCarthy is the author and a “paper engineer” – cool job, right?

Draw Me a House: Architectural Ideas, Inspiration and Colouring In by Herem Draw Me A House: A Book of Colouring in, Ideas and Architectural Inspiration Draw Me A House: A Book of Colouring in, Ideas and Architectural Inspiration

Great pen and ink sketches allow kids to color them in or finish a drawing, while learning about a range of buildings and styles – so it is interactive, in the old fashioned kind of way (versus the high tech way.)

Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi

Read this if you have want an introduction to Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect who believed that all buildings should be soft and furry. For a younger child, it does instill the curiosity about this unique style so that you want to go right to Barcelona and witness it in person.

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