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Building Big


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About the Author

David Macaulay is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books have sold millions of copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. Macaulay has garnered numerous awards including the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award. In 2006, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, given "to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations." Superb design, magnificent illustrations, and clearly presented information distinguish all of his books. David Macaulay lives with his family in Vermont.


This companion to the PBS series of the same name offers a fascinating peek at the inner workings of bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers, domes and dams. In a starred review, PW wrote, "If ever a book were destined to inspire a future generation of engineers and designers, it would be this volume." All ages. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Sheer awe id likely to be readers' response to this nuts-and-bolts companion to the recent PBS series of the same name. . . . Building Big is an intoxicating, synergistic blend of good writing and better art." --School Library Journal, starred review School Library Journal, Starred

"If ever a book were destined to inspire a future generation of engineers and designers, it would be this volume." --Publishers Weekly, starred review Publishers Weekly, Starred Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award

Gr 4 Up-In this series about the biggest of all structures (bridges, tunnels, dams, skyscrapers, and domes), David Macaulay represents the little kid in all of usÄthe one who can't pass up a construction site without stopping to gaze through the fence. There he is, wearing a hardhat, high up on a window-washer's platform outside a Manhattan skyscraper, under the English Channel in the "Chunnel," on top of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Aswan High Dam. He's ready at a moment's notice to pull out his sketch pad and do a quick drawing to demonstrate how the forces of compression and tension hold a dome together, or keep a suspension bridge from falling into the water. He moves from Japan to Malaysia to Brazil to England to the United States to show viewers not only the biggest of big structures, but also their prototypes: Roman aqueducts and bridges, the Pantheon, the medieval towers of San Gimignano, the 4500-year-old ruins of the Igaicu Falls dam on the Nile River. Macaulay's enthusiasm for his subjects is infectious. His explanations are simple but satisfying, and his examples are varied and interesting. What's more, he is adept at bringing in the human stories that give life to these massive structures of steel and stone. Each video ends with a "Building Small" segment, in which Kenny and Caroline from the PBS series Zoom challenge viewers to build a model of the structure just described. For example in Domes, Kenny and Caroline build a geodesic dome out of newspaper and masking tapeÄand when it's done, it's strong enough to hold up four or five heavy reference books. The accompanying 40-page activity guide is packed with projects suitable for individuals and entire classes, from fourth grade on up.-Sarah Flowers, Santa Clara County Library, Morgan Hill, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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