Building Stories

Isabel Hill. Star Bright, $17.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59572-279-9
“Buildings are like books with stories that last./ They tell us about our present and also our past.” In this tour of New York City architecture, Hill directs readers’ attention to sculptural details on buildings’ facades to offer clues to their historical uses. Tile panels with pastoral scenes adorn the exterior of the old Empire State Dairy in Brooklyn (“Can you figure out the plot when you see each cool cow?/ Milk was bottled in this plant and we can see how!”), the contemporary photos joined by vintage images of workers and milk trucks. The period photographs are fascinating, and Hill has assembled some enticing examples (a ship’s prow juts from the edifice of the Naval Branch of the YMCA; winged tires are inset into the wall of a parking garage), but the project is let down by clunky couplets and the superfluous inclusion of generic digital art. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-1-59572-280-5
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