cover image Billions of Bricks

Billions of Bricks

Kurt Cyrus. Holt/Ottaviano, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62779-273-8

Cyrus elevates the humble brick in more ways than one in an effervescent picture book set at a busy construction site, where hard hat–wearing men, women, and children build a palatial structure. First, though, the bricks need to be made: “Dig the clay./ Squish it thick./ Take a mold and make a brick./ Dump it out./ Let it dry./ Stoke the oven way up high,” writes Cyrus. There’s an impressive dimensionality to the structures on display and beauty in the subtle variations in the bricks’ rosy hues. Readers aren’t explicitly asked to do any counting, but it’s almost impossible to resist diving into the architecturally theatrical images to tally the arches, columns, and porticos that take shape. Cyrus’s rollicking rhymes (“Two, four, six./ A million, billion bricks./ Columns, walls, shopping malls,/ halls of politics”) and elegant artwork should delight playroom block stackers and someday builders and architects alike. Ages 4–7. (Oct.)