Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland Into a Home Written by Barb Rosenstock

Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland Into a Home
Written by Barb Rosenstock; Art by Christopher Silas Neal
Calkins Creek. Imprint of Highlights. 2019
Grades 5 up

Barb Rosenstock, one of my favorite writers, has crafted a picture book biography of American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Born in Wisconsin, June 8, 1867, Wright’s father was restless and moved the family around a lot. When they ended up in Massachusetts, the grey skies, grey buildings, and grey people made the young Wright miss the Heartland, the prairie. “To cheer him up, Frank’s mother bought him a gift - a smooth maple box. He slid off the cover and found three plain wood blocks: a sphere, a cube, and a cylinder. Under the blocks lay a set of dowel rods and three lengths of ordinary string.” He loved the blocks. 

Frank Lloyd Wright thought the architecture of the times, the Victorian style homes were boxy, confining, and gaudy. He wanted to design homes that incorporated the wide-open feel of the prairie. He would called them “Prairie Homes.” His homes stand in thirty-six states, in Canada and Japan. Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles. 

Frank Lloyd Wright died in 1959.

Neal uses basic geometric shapes to convey how Wright saw his world. The full-page spreads are rendered in mixed media and digital color illustrations. 

Back matter includes an author’s note, selected sources, and source notes for quotes. Photos, both color and black & white, show seven of Wright’s most famous buildings, plus a reproduction of his plans for Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania. 

A great introduction to Frank Lloyd Wright.

Click here to watch the book trailer.

The publisher sent me a copy of this book to write the review.

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