Thursday, January 14, 2010

What's Inside?

Booklist (February 15, 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 12))
Grades 4-8. From King Tutankamun’s tomb in Egypt to a Mayan temple in Mexico, from the Sydney Opera House in Australia to the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, this handsome picture book introduces famous constructions, one building at a time. Each right-hand page features an outside view of a landmark building with a brief caption, accompanied by the tantalizing question, “What’s inside?” Turn the page, and the answer is there in a big, amazingly detailed collage composition, accompanied by a sidebar filled with facts, such as each building’s name, location, date of construction, materials, architects, and the building's current use. In his first book as both author and illustrator, Laroche uses his trademark collage technique, combining drawing, painting, and cut-paper. This isn’t a lift-the-flap, question-and-answer title to browse through quickly. The minute detail celebrates the awe-inspiring constructions with a focus reminiscent of David Macaulay’s work. This will have many grade-schoolers poring over the pages for a long time.

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