Be a Builder

Skyscrapers, houses, bridges, tunnels—no matter the size or purpose of the building or the scope of the project, these structures require the work of architects, designers, engineers, and workers to build them. The books and documentary film on this list show how and why they do it.

  • Amazing Buildings

    1993 by Philip Wilkinson

    "Full-color artwork, including cutaway illustrations and exploded views, explores some of the world's most famous architectural landmarks, including the Paris Opera, the Taj Mahal, and Grand Central Station."—Publisher

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  • A City Through Time : Illustration

    2013 by Steve Noon

    "Illustrations by award-winning artist Steve Noon provide a unique history of city life, transporting readers from an early Greek settlement to an industrial metropolis, while pull-outs surrounding the illustrations introduce the reader to the people who lived there, from Greek slaves to modern-day commuters."—Publisher

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  • The Story of Buildings : From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond

    2014 by Patrick Dillon

    "From the pyramid erected so that an Egyptian pharaoh would last forever to the dramatic, machine-like Pompidou Center designed by two young architects, Patrick Dillon’s stories of remarkable buildings—and the remarkable people who made them—celebrates the ingenuity of human creation. Stephen Biesty’s extraordinarily detailed illustrations take us inside famous buildings throughout history and demonstrate just how these marvelous structures fit together."—Publisher

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  • Iggy Peck, Architect

    2007 by Andrea Beaty

    "Iggy has one passion: building. His parents are proud of his fabulous creations, though they’re sometimes surprised by his materials—who could forget the tower he built of dirty diapers? When his second-grade teacher declares her dislike of architecture, Iggy faces a challenge. He loves building too much to give it up! With Andrea Beaty’s irresistible rhyming text and David Roberts’s puckish illustrations, this book will charm creative kids everywhere, and amuse their sometimes bewildered parents."—Publisher

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  • Rosie Revere, Engineer

    2013 by Andrea Beaty

    "Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit."—Publisher

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  • Castle

    2013 by David Macaulay

    "The word itself conjures up mystery, romance, intrigue, and grandeur. What could be more perfect for an author/illustrator who has continually stripped away the mystique of architectural structures that have long fascinated modern man? With typical zest and wry sense of humor punctuating his drawings, David Macaulay traces the step-by-step planning and construction of both castle and town."—Publisher

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  • Building a House

    1981 by Byron Barton

    "Byron Barton, the celebrated creator of numerous picture books for very young children, including Trucks, My Bus, and My Car, builds a house, step by step, right before your eyes! A machine digs a big hole. A cement mixer pours cement. Carpenters put up walls. Bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, and painters do their part. Through brilliantly simple words and pictures a house is built."—Publisher

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  • Engineering the Impossible

    2007 by Melisa Akdogan

    "Using ground-breaking computer graphics and dramatic construction, this series shows in intimate detail how these buildings were conceived and constructed in an age before modern technology."—Producers

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