Books for Young Builders and Architects


Books for Young Builders and Architects


Do you like to build? These books are all about building, buildings, and the architects who design them. Not a builder? These books may inspire you to consider it.


 If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen

Jack has LOTS of ideas for the house he’s planning. There’s a kitchen that cooks and cleans for you. And a no-gravity room for flying. And a water-filled room with fish you can swim around with. This book is lots of fun and will definitely spark you to come up with your own ideas.


 Roberto: The Insect Architect by Nina Laden

Ever since he was a little termite, Roberto wanted to be an architect. But all the other termites thought he should eat the wood, not build with it. So Roberto goes to the big city to follow his dreams. The illustrations are amazing and very clever.


 Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

Iggy Peck started building when he was two and things went well (mostly) until second grade when his teacher banned all building and talk of buildings. But things change when Iggy and his class are stranded on an island and Iggy saves the day. Hint: he doesn’t create a building. Also by this author: Rosie Revere, Engineer


 Young Frank, Architect by Frank Viva

Young Frank lives with Old Frank and both are architects. But when Young Frank builds crazy stuff like a twisted building, Old Frank thinks he is designing buildings all wrong. To show his grandson how real architects design buildings, Old Frank takes him to a museum. Well, it turns out Young Frank wasn’t wrong after all. So they go home and get to work.


 The Story of Buildings by Patrick Dillon, illustrated by Stephen Biesty

This is a big book. It covers the history of buildings from the pyramids, through Greek temples, the Forbidden City in China, the Crystal Palace in England, to present day buildings. Many of the building are shown in large fold-out spreads that give an amazing amount of detail. Although there is lots of text, the illustrations alone kept me interested for a long time.


 Cathedral by David Macaulay

This book has been around a long time (1973) but it’s still a great one to get lost in. It shows the step-by-step building of a cathedral in the 13th century. Building a cathedral today would be a massive undertaking. But back then, with no machines, only man power, it was mind-boggling. If you are someone who draws, this is an especially amazing book.


 Architects by Kathleen Manatt

Giving a basic introduction into an architect’s career, this book covers a brief history, a typical day, some famous architects, and other topics.


 Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi by Rachel Rodriguez, illustrated by Julie Paschkis

This book could easily be included in my post on biographies, which is coming in 2 weeks. Or, it could be part of an upcoming travel post—I really want to travel to see this man’s buildings! But in the end, I decided to include it here because it’s such an inspiring book on designing, building, and creativity. Antoni Gaudi lived in the mid-1800s and designed the most amazing buildings that used the forms and colors of nature. Reading this just might inspire you to draw some beautiful buildings, too.


 Wonderful Houses around the World by Yoshio Komatsu, illustrated by Akira Nishiyama

You probably know that not all houses look like yours or the ones in your neighborhood. But you might not know how very different houses can be. This book has houses from all parts of the world: Bolivia, Spain, India, and 7 other countries. There are photos and detailed drawings that give great views of a yurt, a talou, a house dug in the ground, and other designs that may surprise you.


 Architecture According to Pigeons by Speck Lee Tailfeather

Tailfeather is a pigeon who wants us to know how deeply pigeons care about human architecture. So he takes us on a world tour of famous buildings around the world, such as Big Ben (London), the Leaning Tower (Italy), the Great Pyramid of Giza (Egypt), and 37 more. Each page is filled with information and humor. Who knew pigeons were funny?


I wonder what these books will inspire you to design and build? Write your ideas in the Comments Box!


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