Before I even opened this book, I knew it was something special. Was it the look of wonder on the little boy’s face? The playful wording in the title? Or the implied message that play is serious work? Whichever resonates with you is the reason to have this book in your library.
Dreaming UP has a little bit of everything to delight us visually and cognitively. Each double page spread shows an illustration of children exploring materials and creating structures alongside a photograph of a famous building with similar characteristics. We’ve all heard that play is the serious work of childhood – this proves it!
The connection between child’s play and artistic genius is made so poignantly through this quote by famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright –
“The maple wood blocks . . . are in my fingers to this day.”
Author/Illustrator, Christy Hale packs so much beauty and wonder into the first 30 pages but doesn’t stop there. She offers the adult reader detailed background information on each architect and the specific building that’s shown. You might recognize Hale’s work as she is also the illustrator of other well-known picture books such as Elizabeti’s Doll, Mama Elizabeti, and Elizabeti's School.
Dreaming UP has won many awards and accolades. Here’s a partial list -
Children's and Young Adult Book Award Honor
International Reading Association (IRA)
2012 California Book Award
Read! Build! Play! Summer Reading list of Books that Inspire Play
ALSC and LEGO
Nonfiction Honor Winner
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award
Notable Children's Book
American Library Association (ALA)
If you like this book, you might also like Becker’s collection of picture books about building and construction, Theme Book Set: Construction (BSS315140).
Looking for “raw materials” to inspire your builders? Start here!
Tree Blocks, TB31
Architectural Blocks, MTC257
Around the Globe Block Set, G6100