"Present-day children will be creating our cities as soon as tomorrow" – these are the popular words used by authors of architectural projects for children in their motivation articles and press-releases of initiatives. In Ukrainian schools, children fail to receive the basic knowledge in architecture and urban planning. However, the topic is relevant and significant. Thus, the alternative is in informal schools and programs. Children books that cover urban and architecture topics could be of great help. The literature helps children develop the understanding of their relations with a city, get them interested in the processes taking place within the city, understand mechanisms of impact and change, take a critical approach to comprehend the space, express themselves and make justified decisions.
At the Center for Urban History,
we implement programs on urban topics, and use the books for preparation that
are regretfully not largely represented on the shelves of Ukrainian bookstores. Please, find below the selected books and products related to architectural
education of children we have (or wish to have) available in our library.
Welcome to the library of the Center to learn more.
Machowiak Aleksandra, Mizieliński Daniel. Wydawnictwo Dwie Siostry, Warszawa
A minimalist and wonderfully illustrated book that will be interesting for the youngest readers and the adult audiences. Witty and laconic pictures, easy to read captions tell about the thirty five unusual buildings created by he most famous architects of the world. It is important that the book authors show the houses beyond the mere listing of styles and timelines. Instead, they disclose some broader issues. The “Dwie Siostry” publishing are typically filling the niche of “intellectual books for children and greatly combines them with irony and magnificent visuals.
Miracles of Architecture. Atlas.
Sara Tavergne, Oleksandr Veril
Review of world architecture from the ancient ruins to the brand modern
buildings. One can find on the large maps of the pages the history of
architectural heritage, and learn about the timeline of construction, short
bios of architects, information on awards in the field of architecture.
The book is visualized with infographics so it should be interesting and easy to read both for children who only learn to read, and for teenagers who
The book offers another option to interact with the city. When you go for a walk with a notebook and pencils with you, you start noticing things that usually go unnoticed. The Australian illustrator Mark Martin highlights the details typical for the place (city) that make up the urban space. Images and descriptions provoke readers to ask many ‘why’ questions and aptly show the processes (historical, economic, academic, etc.) taking place in the city and shaping its current appearance.
The Little House
Virginia Lee Burton
The book was entered into the 20th century best books and was awarded with the Caldecott Medal of American Library Association in 1943, the highest award for children books. The Little House is a very simple and easy to understand metaphor for children. There is much symbolism in illustrations and in the story – abut the processes or urbanization through contrasting a little house to big cities.
Me a House: Architectural Ideas, Inspiration, and Colouring In Paperback
A world popular "interactive" coloring book. The book offers to design the granny’s apartment in a little town and a New York skyscraper. It invites on an easy and creative trip to learn about various architectural ideas and approaches. When coloring each next page, the reader learns about basic architectural elements, functions, and importance of lines, colors, and light.
The fold out book with stickers. Bright pictures with brief descriptions tell
children about the construction details: how to properly build a house and what
you need for that. The book is interactive and can be a great incentive for a
conversation with the youngest children about the elements and functions of
Warszawa, Wydawnictwo Dwie Siostry, 2013
A Czech artist Miroslav Shashek developed a series of travel books for children back in the early 1960s. “This is…” is a series dedicated to various popular tourist destinations in cities and countries in the world (This is Paris, This is London, This is San-Fransico, This is Greece, a.o.). The illustrations combined with fun and interesting information have been for dozens of years introducing children to history, art, architecture, music, and traditions in different parts of the world. All books by Miroslav Shashek are special with the feeling of presence they create, with the ironic and attentive author who makes the conversation with the reader intimate and personal.
Happach, Marlena, Czaika, Robert
Warszawa, Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego, 2015
A pop-up book actualizing architectural heritage of
Modernism. The book is interdisciplinary as it aptly intertwines urban history,
architecture, and art. Descriptions of modern Warsaw buildings are adapted for
children audiences, whilst the 3-D visualization helps learn about the details of building
architectural facilities. At the same time, it inspires and develops the
spatial imagination of the youngest children. The book is meant for parents
reading together with children.
The Story of Buildings:
From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond
Patrick Dillon (Author), Stephen Biesty (Illustrator)
The author of the book is an architect Patrick Dillon who made a travel guide about everything related with architecture and urban construction. The reader has a chance to travel in time and see on the same page how the pyramids were being built and a Sydney Opera, too. For convenience and visual aids, there is an index in the end of the book and great timeline infographics.
Origami Architecture: Papercraft Models of the World's Most Famous Buildings
The book is an art manual how to cut and craft the architectural monuments from all over the world. The projects have a range of complexity levels, from the relatively easy to advanced (such as The Tower Bridge). The book is also a visual encyclopedia with over 900 pictures, full-color guiding schemes, and a brief history of each building.
"I am the City. Warsaw." – is a Wimmelbuch, a history guidebook inviting readers of different ages to be introduced to the city and changes in the city while playing. The book includes large illustrations with captions. The basis for the boos is a map but the story goes about many centuries of changes, twists and turns that show many layers overlapping within the city.
Games and Play on Urban Topics
Games, construction sets and puzzles that tell about the basic approaches, urban planning models, elements of the city and their functions. It enables the readers to have the tools to imagine basic principles of spatial organization, with account for needs and contexts of the time.
Review by Khrystyna Boyko