Hello, friends! Our book today is Discovering Architecture by Eduard Altarriba and Berta Bardí I Milà, an illustrated primer in historical world architecture for young bookworms.
Moving in a generally chronological order, readers are given a visual crash course in architecture, both its history and principles, using Altarriba’s fantastic educational-illustrative style. Bookworms can learn about the tallest buildings in the world, the history of city planning and building materials, and meet some of the most recognized architects in history, then take a look forward to the future of green and interplanetary architecture.
There’s a lot to like about this visual encyclopedia: the detailed, appealing artwork, which does a great job of illustrating the concepts and science on display, and how the text takes complex elements of construction and engineering and puts them in child-friendly and accessible terms. The two unnamed child characters that act as guides give the book a sense of cohesion and a touch of friendly engagement. However, there are a few weak areas, especially representation: only one of the architects featured is female and/or nonwhite, and most of the architecture is Euro-centric; while smatterings of Asian, Middle Eastern, and US architecture are featured, Latin America, Australia and sub-Saharan Africa pop up only very occasionally. The length is definitely for slightly older, middle-grade bookworms, though JJ still enjoyed the lovely artwork. This is by no means a definitive volume, but is still a great primer for readers curious about the science and history of architecture. Rough around the edges, but we liked it – Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)