Frank, Who Liked to Build
The Architecture of Frank Gehry
One building looks like it’s been wrapped in tinfoil. Another looks like it’s buried under a pile of paint chips. Frank Gehry has been called “the most important architect of our age.” As a child, his parents thought of him as nothing but a dreamer. But Frank kept dreaming and playing, following his passions and becoming an architect who created astounding buildings that to this day attract millions of visitors worldwide.
“Being a Chicagoan, I know Frank Gehry’s work in our beloved Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Frank, Who Liked to Build gives young readers a fascinating introduction to the creative vision behind one of the greatest architects of our time.” —Sherri Duskey Rinker, author of the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site series
|Interest Level||Preschool - Grade 3|
|Reading Level||Grade 2|
|Genre||Nonfiction, Picture Books, Social Studies|
|Category||5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Kar-Ben Publishing ®|
|Number of Pages||32|
Jewish Herald-Voice (Texas Gulf Coast)
Blumenthal’s message to her juvenile readers: Keep dreaming, playing and following your passions.
Sydney Taylor Shmooze
This book provides an interesting look at the creative process—the sources of inspiration, the repeated attempts, the doubts, the risk-taking—that could be a springboard for a discussion on this topic for parents, teachers, and librarians.
Forward: The Jewish Daily
Recommended for any kid in need of new facts for the dinner table.
In its own vivid and colorful pages, Frank, Who Liked to Build: The Architecture of Frank Gehry (by Deborah Blumenthal with illustrations by Maria Brzozowska) focuses on the professional accomplishments—with some attention to the Jewish influences—of the famed architect and longtime California resident, who was born Frank Goldberg in 1929. Among other tidbits, readers learn that “Jews faced prejudice in Canada, where he grew up, and in Los Angeles, where he went to architecture school,” prompting him, unhappily, to change his surname to something less identifiably Jewish.
Jewish Book Council
This biography of a famous Canadian-American architect is presented through freeform illustrations that grab your attention the way his buildings do. Energy jumps off each page, with the book’s combination of evocative words and emblematic works.
Author Blumenthal ties Frank Gehry’s Jewish heritage to his career and his vision. She does not mince words about the antisemitism that made him change his name or the disapproval of his parents regarding his art career, which they felt would be just a dream. His grandmother is his rock, giving him challah pieces to construct the shapes in his head.
Gehry has a personal vision, which he successfully forms into dramatic, useful buildings all over the world; the buildings are distinctively shaped, and they welcome millions of visitors. His daring use of form and material earn him the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize, the equivalent of the Nobel.
In this picture book, a bold, descriptive vocabulary holds its own against the driving, swirling art. Gehry studies, plays, invents, and above all dreams. Then he turns the possibilities into reality by “starting with ordinary and shaping it into extraordinary one building at a time.”
Author: Deborah Blumenthal
Deborah Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and nutritionist, and the author of twenty-three books for adults and children. She has been a regular contributor to The New York Times. Her feature stories have appeared in a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, including The New York Daily News, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, and Woman’s Day. Deborah lives in New York City.
Illustrator: Maria Brzozowska
Maria Brzozowska was born in Poland and spent most of her childhood growing up in Turkey, where she now lives. She’s a graduate of Leeds Arts University, a visual storyteller who enjoys taking a poetic approach to her art. She uses traditional painting techniques aided by digital methods.