Wednesday, June 8, 2016

BOOK NOTE: Frank Lloyd Wright for kids -- and everyone else

In honor of Frank Lloyd Wright's birthday today, June 8,
I am reposting this review of an excellent kids' book about his life and work.
(It was originally posted on Oct. 21, 2014.)

Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and ideas

    Chicago Review Press, soft cover, 130 pages,  150+ illustrations, 
                      21 hands-on activities, $16.95

Kathleen Thorne-Thomsen's book is indeed a child-friendly volume, but there is nothing juvenile about it. Chapters such as Growing Up (with the book's introductory hands-on activity "Learn How Nature Grows Above and Below the Ground"), A Home and Studio, and Learning to be an Architect paint a clear and concise picture of the reality of a designer's life; they also explore the forces that influenced Wright from his earliest days: nature, music, and strong family ties. Subsequent chapters depict the struggles and joys of his complex and often controversial personal situation. 

The book's affectionate writing style and design -- replete with photographs, prompts for observing patterns and shapes, ideas for games and activities, and even recipes ("FLW's Steel-Cut Oatmeal") -- are inviting, making it an excellent gateway to further reading about its celebrated subject. FLW for Kids abounds with informative anecdotes and design concepts centered around some of Wright's most iconic creations, including Fallingwater (Mill Run, PA), NYC's Guggenheim Museum, and Robie House in Chicago. Highly recommended for design aficionados of all ages!

          Fallingwater, Mill Run, PA, 1935

Guggenheim Museum, NYC, opened 1959

Robie House, Chicago, 1910    

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