Building on Nature

The Life of Antoni Gaudi
Rachel Rodriguez
Julie Paschkis
Henry Holt
Number of pages: 
32 pages

Like most art students and lovers, I have had mixed feelings about the architecture of Gaudi all my life. When our oldest son visited Barcelona and sent pictures of Gaudi buildings, I planned on learning more about him. Now I find this new and remarkable picture book telling children about a man who was perhaps little understood during his lifetime.

What I find in the warmly-illustrated pages is a likeable man! A devout Catholic, a lover of nature and of poverty, married to his life's hard work. Perhaps his art isn't traditional, in any shape or form, but there is a genuine aspect of Gaudi's work that one can't help being attracted to.

This picture book does a good job of bringing his life and work to young children and it is a fun read aloud, written in the present tense, in poetic lines. The author's note adds important biographical information including the fact that he was a very early recycler, using all sort of discarded materials in his buildings. A list of websites is also listed. I found this list of buildings with photos very useful!

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