Friday, February 8, 2013

Dreaming Up - a review

On Fridays, you may find many bloggers participating in STEM Friday or Poetry Friday

Here is a book that covers both bases.

Hale, Christy. 2012. Dreaming Up: A celebration of building. New York: Lee and Low.

As a youth services librarian in a public library, I don't have the same type of interaction with children as  a teacher or school media specialist might. I see more preschool than school-aged children, and though my goal is to "teach" the love of reading and the power of information, children and parents often come to the library seeking pleasure and entertainment. Teaching and learning moments are offered in the form of story time programs, book clubs, or crafts. 

That's why a book like Dreaming Up is so perfect!  Imagine a book that "teaches" architecture,  concrete poetry, design, and the power of imagination. Now imagine that book is suitable for preschoolers  up to grade 4, that it sparks opportunities for imaginative play, that it is factual (Architecture, DDC 720), that it is properly sourced, that it is multicultural, and yes - it's attractive, too!

On the page facing each illustrated poem is a photograph of the famous or architecturally significant structure which inspired the poem. Featured buildings are from locations around the globe and include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. Back matter includes information on each of the fifteen structures as well as biographical information on each building's architect.

No need to dream; there is such a book and it's Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building.  Go. Read it. Share it.  

Get out some boxes, and blankets, and pillows, and playing cards, and Popsicle sticks and building blocks. Encourage the young people you know to "dream up."

Note: I purposefully did not quote from the book because in concrete poetry, you must see the structure of the words themselves.  Please preview a few pages of Dreaming Up here on the publisher's site.

View suggested companion learning activities on author Christy Hale's site.

Today's Poetry Friday is at A Teaching Life.

STEM Friday may always be found at - use it as a great resource for children's books featuring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. 

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  1. This looks like a great book for curious kids! And kids who learn by doing. And kids who like to play with how words look on a page.

  2. I'm on my way to my library to check this book out. Thanks for highlighting it today! Happy Friday! =)

  3. Thanks for this lovely review of my new book. Check out some fun activities and downloadable lessons at

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I linked to your site in the post. That type of resource is so very helpful for busy librarians and teachers!

    2. D'oh! So you did! Many thanks.

  4. Thank you for featuring - looks like a terrific book, and one which will foster imaginative responses from young readers!

  5. I enjoyed this books too. So great to see the lovely architecture paired with kid's buildings!


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