Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: The Future Architect's Tool Kit by Barbara Beck

by Barbara Beck
Schiffer Publishing
Middle Grade Non-Fiction/Activity
ages 9 to 12
48 pages

Children with dreams of designing buildings will discover how architects actually work in this workbook, which builds on the concepts introduced in The Future Architect’s Handbook. It walks readers through the drawings created by Aaron, a young architect building his own home. Going a step further, children will learn the steps necessary to create their own drawings and build a model of their design, using an included tool kit consisting of graph paper and an architect’s scale, pencil, and drafting eraser. Finally, readers are challenged to design homes for an eclectic group of clients. Freehand pen-and-ink drawings bring the instructions to life. This book is the perfect introduction to what an architect does at work and why buildings look and function as they do. Ideal for middle grades ages 8–13, but creative adults will also find it inspiring.

Available through Schiffer Publishing: here


This tool kit will have young architects' hearts beating faster. . .and lure in curious adults too.

Designing a house is more than just grabbing a pencil and paper, and this kit leads the way through the basic concepts, concerns and how-to tips. Through step-by-step chapters, the basics of architectural design are revealed and everything from floor plans, surrounding landscape and future owners' tastes are explored. Since learning is doing, a architect's scale, graph paper, pencil and eraser are included with the book.

Opening the kit is a bit like diving into a present. The hard cover version of The Future Architect's Handbook immediately catches the eye, but it doesn't take long to see the side compartment holding simple architect's scale, a pencil and a white eraser, as well as the pad of graph paper tucked in with the book. This alone is a treat. The case itself is thin cardboard but fairly robust, and the Velcro tab insures that the lid can be opened and closed many times, making a perfect storage place.

The book is around 45 pages and rich in illustrations. These are black and white, and help to bring clarity to the information presented in the text. The author does a great job of giving a general overview, while bringing just the right details which will interest kids to light. Everything is explained in an easy to read way, and even the architectural terms are described in a way readers ages 10+ can grasp. Unfortunately, there isn't a glossary to describe the individual terms again at the end of the book.

The chapters are fairly short, letting readers soak in the information bit by bit. This also gives them time to start to nibble on ideas of their own. Everything from the location of a house, types of houses, floor plans and individual desires is discussed. At the end, there are examples of how to draw different items (stairs, sinks, toilets, etc) on the graph paper.

There's quite a bit of information packed in the pages, and the illustrations and examples come from basic architectural design. So kids would recognize the elements again if seeing a professional design. This is what also makes it interesting for curious adults; the information doesn't really talk down to the kids, but gives an honest, quick overview into the world of basic architecture in a way they can understand.

If you'd like to get a good feel for the kit, go on over and take a look at my Youtube Review.

Want to learn more about Barbara Beck?

Then check her out at http://barbarabeckauthor.com

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