Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, December 2, 2022

Concrete from the Ground Up

Concrete: From the Ground Up 
by Larissa Theule
illustrated by Steve Light
Candlewick Press, 2022
Grades 2-6

Concrete: From the Ground Up is the perfect blend of science and history in picture book form.  The book begins with scientific information about the composition of concrete and how it is different from cement. Using an expository writing style, Theule uses a chronological structure to trace the history of concrete in architecture from around the world. From the Parthenon in Ancient Rome to Machu Picchu constructed by the Incas, concrete has been an important role in buildings and structures for thousands of years. Readers will also learn about reinforced concrete of modern day that is used with steel to build skyscrapers, dams and bridges. Famous landmarks are featured in throughout the book including the Hoover Dam, the Berlin Wall, and Sydney Opera House.

Light's pen, ink and watercolor illustrations provide readers with diagrams and visuals while also adding a comic element with the cartoon-style people and speech bubble captions.  Concrete: From the Ground Up is sure to be a hit with fans of The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London't Poop Problem. Visit Larissa Theule's website to view pages from the book.

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