This children's activity book takes the reader through the various stages of building a skyscraper - from making a model city, through design of the building and problem-solving, to the actual construction of the tower from foundation to finished structure.
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Grades 3-6--From Chicago's Montauk Block, built in 1881, to the Millennium Tower in Tokyo, still in the planning stages, this lively text describes the history and structure of the world's tallest buildings and offers some facts and enticing projects. The well-organized chapters move logically from the earliest planning stages and history of these buildings through structural challenges, demonstrated with both anecdotes and activities, and conclude with a look toward the future. It should be noted that although the World Trade Center is not prominently featured, it is described as a standing skyscraper. Beginning with the creation of a building plan, the book offers young readers the opportunity to explore structural engineering, city planning, architecture, and construction. Activities include laying a concrete floor with sand, cornstarch, and two Popsicle sticks; testing a building frame made from toothpicks and marshmallows; and building an elevator with a small cardboard box and an empty thread spool. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs of actual structures and cartoons depicting both genders participating in construction and design, this companion to Johmann and Elizabeth J. Rieth's Bridges (Williamson, 1999) is a solid purchase.
Rita Hunt Smith, Hershey Public Library, PA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-6. This addition to the Kaleidoscope Kids Book series explores skyscrapers. In addition to hitting the highlights of 120 years of architectural history, Johmann spotlights certain buildings (the Empire State Building in New York, the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lampur, to name a few), discusses engineering and design issues, and gives directions for theme-related science and craft activities. Cartoonlike ink drawings give the book a child-friendly look, while black-and-white photos provide a more realistic view of the subject. Made to encourage hands-on learning, this is an informal looking, yet informative introduction to skyscrapers. Carolyn Phelan
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