'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 17 August 2018

Review: Look Up! Numbers, Colours and Shapes in Architecture

As someone who loves both art and architecture, Look Up! Numbers, Colours and Shapes in Architecture is right up my alley.

It's a fabulous and creative introduction for children to several different concepts.

It all starts on the title page, where a snail in the bottom right corner tells us that it is an architect, and carries its building on its back.

The snail encourages us to look closely at 18 different buildings and the numbers, shapes and colours to be found in them.

This is where the visual element is so important.

Looking at the buildings you will find their shapes can represent numbers (the tower at London's Tate Modern looks like a 1), or have a certain number of repeated elements (like the two towers of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, or three storeys of Beijing's Temple of Heaven).

Look Up! is also a quick trip around the world in 18 buildings. The featured architecture includes the Sydney Opera House (and its six shells), the colourful (blue, red, yellow and green) Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Seattle's Central Library (constructed with many diamond and triangle shapes).

The book also travels to Spain, India, Japan, Italy, Russia and the Netherlands.

As you progress, each building is accompanied by a simple label to help identify whether it fits in the numbers, colours or shapes in architecture category.

There's a double page summary of the buildings on the back endpapers, with small pictures, labelled with the building names and locations.

Created by architect and illustrator, Antonia Pesenti who was part of the team that gave us Alphabetical Sydney and Numerical Street, Look Up! has clean, simple illustrations which draw you in.

Even if you know some, or all, of the buildings, you are sure to be surprised by what Look Up! highlights. And make sure you look out for the snail throughout, as it travels with the reader.

Look Up! Numbers, Colours and Shapes in Architecture is definitely finding a home in my personal library.

Title: Look Up! Numbers, Colours and Shapes in Architecture
Author: Antonia Pesenti
Illustrator: Antonia Pesenti
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, $29.99 
Publication Date: August 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760125240
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture book