A stylish, eye-opening, utterly engaging, and often wry look at one of the marvels of the material world, from the ground up.
From a lowly mixture of stone, sand, water, and cement have sprung sidewalks, streets, and skyscrapers, sturdy lighthouses and magnificent palaces, long bridges and massive dams. In ancient building practices, in modern engineering, and in the architecture of the future, humble concrete plays a mighty role in the creation of the human-made world. Brimming with facts and spiced with clever running narrative in the form of repartee-filled speech bubbles, Concrete is as intimate and entertaining as it is informative and visually sweeping. Curious readers of all ages—from would-be engineers to science and history buffs to retro-design lovers—will delight in this bold, one-of-a-kind guide to the (literal) bedrock of civilization, amplified by a bibliography in the back matter.
About the Author
Larissa Theule is the author of several picture books for children, including Kafka and the Doll, illustrated by Rebecca Green, and A Way with Wild Things, illustrated by Sara Palacios. She holds an MEd from Gordon College and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and currently lives in Southern California.
Steve Light is the author-illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including the picture books Have You Seen My Dragon? and Have You Seen My Monster? andthe board books Black Bird Yellow Sun; Mama Tiger, Tiger Cub;and Up Cat Down Cat. Steve Light lives in New York City with his wife.
Without getting too bogged down in technical nitty-gritty, Theule presents readers with the fascinating story of concrete, from its ancient nonstructural uses to today’s massive feats of engineering. The brief, clear expository text delivers the information well (as readers learn, for instance, the difference between tensile strength and compressive strength), with additional details provided by conversational, often humorous word balloons from various figures found in the illustrations. —The Horn Book (starred review)
This beautifully illustrated picture book takes a rather mundane topic and turns it into something mysterious, ancient, and unlimited. —Booklist (starred review)
An eye-opening survey of this ubiquitous building material’s history and uses. . . . Lays down a foundation of basic knowledge as solid as its topic. —Kirkus Reviews
In picture books, we’re all used to seeing animal pals and bedtime rhymes. We’re a great deal less used to seeing, say, building materials, which is one reason why Larissa Theule’s ‘Concrete: From the Ground Up’ is such a delight. Another reason is that it’s a terrific work of illustrated nonfiction—engaging and informative, with witty pictures by Steve Light. —The Wall Street Journal