Do you have a son (or daughter) who is enthralled with building projects?
Here are some favorite pictures books for elementary-age children that will bring to life some of the amazing construction projects in America still standing today. These books all passed, not only my children's attention test, but also their mother's.
Hanging Off Jefferson's Nose: Growing Up on Mount Rushmore by Tina Nichols Coury, Illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Lincoln was only a boy when his father, sculptor Gutzon Borglum, suggested carving four presidents' faces into a South Dakota mountain. But without Lincoln's help, this bold project would have never been completed. The astounding accomplishment of Mt. Rushmore is told, accompanied with great illustrations.
Pop's Bridge by Eve Bunting, Illustrated by C.F. Payne
Robert thinks his father has the best job as an iron worker on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. But when an accident occurs, he realizes that each worker is important. A well-illustrated book that includes historical information about the bridge.
Follow four boys, a French metal worker, a sailor, a New York newsboy, and an iron worker—as they contribute to the building of the Statue of Liberty. Children interested in construction will pour over the detailed drawings that add interest and historical accuracy to each boy's story. The writing feels a bit stilted but the book has much to offer.
Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen, Illustrated by Jim Burke
A parallel story that tells of a young Russian girl on a journey to America and an artist with a bold vision for a statue that celebrates America's freedom. A reminder of the determination and persistence that made the Statue of Liberty, and a new home in America, a reality.
You Wouldn't Want to Work on the Brooklyn Bridge: An Enormous Project That Seemed Impossible by Tom Ratliff, Illustrated by Mark Bergin
This book (and the others in the “You Wouldn't Want to...” series) take a humorous and sometimes sarcastic look at famous events. The illustrations are comic-style and are a hit with children, especially action-loving boys. But the historical information is solid, and this book gave a good overview of the challenges that faced the builders of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
Twenty-One Elephants by Phil Bildner, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
The amazing Brooklyn Bridge has been completed, but many are scared to walk on the new bridge. Everyone but Hannah. With the help of Barnum's twenty-one elephants, Hannah proves the Brooklyn Bridge is safe. A well-illustrated story based on a true event.
Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building by Deborah Hopkinson, Illustrated by James E. Ransome
The 1930's was a discouraging time for many Americans but the Empire State Building brought hope. This is the incredible story of one of the world's most famous buildings and the men, called sky boys, who dared the heights. Well-researched book combines with great drawings to make it worth your time.
Do you have any favorite children's book on building projects to add to this list?
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