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Start with a Book

Ricky Rocket

A summer reading program for kids from Reading Rockets

Start With a Book

Children's books and activities

Builders and Buildings

Do you know any kids who are fascinated by architecture from other cultures, how buildings are designed and built, or what it's like to be an architect? We've gathered up a great collection of books, activities, apps, and websites for learning all about builders and buildings.

Try pairing fiction with nonfiction books and exploring different genres (like poetry and biographies) and formats (like graphic novels and audio books). You'll be creating your own "text sets" — collections of texts focused on a specific topic. Reading widely in this way helps children build background knowledge, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

Builders and building

Great Fiction & Nonfiction Books

Age Level: 3-6 years old

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Alphabet Under Construction

By: Denise Fleming

Age Level: 3-6 years old

An appealing mouse (also seen in Lunch) creates active letters of the alphabet, beginning by "...

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Build, Dogs, Build: A Tall Tail

By: James Horvath

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Time to get rolling/Duke just got a call/Load up the bulldozer and big wrecking ball. Head foreman...

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Building a House

By: Byron Barton

Age Level: 3-6 years old

A machine digs a big hole. A cement mixer pours cement. Carpenters put up walls. Bricklayers,...

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Building Our House

By: Jonathan Bean

Age Level: 3-6 years old

The oldest child narrates the family's move from the city to build their own house on farm land....

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Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors

By: Hena Khan

Age Level: 3-6 years old

This picture book celebrates Islam's beauty and traditions. From a red prayer rug to a blue...

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Home

By: Carson Ellis

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Travel through time, imagination, literature, and more for a unique look at "home" in any number...

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How a House Is Built

By: Gail Gibbons

Age Level: 3-6 years old

As readers quickly comprehend, building a house is a complex project requiring the cooperative...

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If I Built a House

By: Chris Van Dusen

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Imaginative Jack is ready to build the house of his dreams, complete with a racetrack, flying...

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Look at That Building: A First Book of Structures

By: Scot Ritchie

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Introduce young readers to basic construction concepts through the eyes of five friends keen on...

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Palazzo Inverso

By: D.B. Johnson

Age Level: 3-6 years old

The hero of the story is a young apprentice named Mauk. Like most kids, he loves to draw, but...

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Shapes in Buildings

By: Rebecca Rissman

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Can you spot the shape? Crisp photographs help children learn about the different shapes you can...

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Young Frank, Architect

By: Frank Viva

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Young Frank is an architect. He lives with his grandfather, Old Frank, who is also an architect...

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Age Level: 6-9 years old

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A City Through Time

By: Philip Steele

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Follow the progress of an imaginary city through six key periods of time, each captured by a...

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A House Is a House for Me

By: Mary Ann Hoberman

Age Level: 6-9 years old

A lively rhyming cadence introduces many different houses for various residents. From spiders to...

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A Year at a Construction Site

By: Nicholas Harris

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Send in the cranes! Bulldozers! Earthmovers! Would you like to watch how a building goes up?...

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Amazing Buildings

By: Kate Hayden

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Have you ever heard of a hotel made of snow? How would you put a building in space? And who washes...

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Architecture According to Pigeons

By: Speck Lee Tailfeather

Age Level: 6-9 years old

In this lively introduction to the world’s most beautiful buildings, readers take a journey...

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Bridges: Amazing Structures to Design, Build & Test

By: Carol Johmann, Elizabeth Rieth

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Historical and technical information on the design and construction of bridges with easy hands-...

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Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudí

By: Rachel Rodriguez

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Short sentences tell of the architect's boyhood in Catalonia, his love of nature, and his early...

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Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

By: Christy Hale

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Recognizable constructions from childhood such as blocks and sandcastles and playful verse are...

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If You Lived Here: Houses of the World

By: Giles Laroche

Age Level: 6-9 years old

People all around have homes in which to live, but not all of them look alike. Dwellings old and...

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Iggy Peck's Big Project Book for Amazing Architects

By: Andrea Beaty

Age Level: 6-9 years old

This workbook book features art and the characters from the picture book Iggy Peck, Architect...

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Iggy Peck, Architect

By: Andrea Beaty

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Iggy has one passion: building. His parents are proud of his fabulous creations, though they’re...

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Let's Build a Clubhouse

By: Marilyn Singer

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Short, snappy verses invite young readers to participate in the building of a clubhouse, from...

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Monumental Verses

By: J. Patrick Lewis

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Stunning color photographs and poems combine to pay homage to some of the "world's enduring man-...

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Roberto: The Insect Architect

By: Nina Laden

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Ever since he was a wee mite (a termite, that is), Roberto has wanted to be an architect....

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Skyscrapers! Super Structures to Design and Build

By: Carol A. Johmann

Age Level: 6-9 years old

From Chicago's Montauk Block, built in 1881, to the Millennium Tower in Tokyo, still in the...

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The 13-Story Treehouse

By: Andy Griffiths

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Terry and Andy are friends who live in a huge tree house complete with a bowling alley, game room,...

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The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale

By: Steven Guarnaccia

Age Level: 6-9 years old

In this quirky, retelling of “The Three Little Pigs,” the pigs and their homes are nods to three...

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The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid

By: Jeanette Winter

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Zaha Hadid grew up in Baghdad, Iraq, and dreamed of designing her own cities. After studying...

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Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing

By: April Jones Prince

Age Level: 6-9 years old

This well-researched, handsomely illustrated picture book captures the anticipation and...

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Age Level: 9-12 years old

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Amazing Buildings

By: Philip Wilkinson

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Full-color artwork, including cutaway illustrations and exploded views, explores some of the world'...

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Building (Eyewitness Books)

By: Philip Wilkinson

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Discover the history of buildings — why they were built and the techniques used in their...

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Building Big

By: David Macaulay

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Why this shape and not that? Why steel instead of concrete or stone? Why put it here and not over...

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Built to Last

By: David Macaulay

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Three books, each a sophisticated examination at how structures were built — a cathedral,...

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Curious Constructions: A Peculiar Portfolio of Fifty Fascinating Structures

By: Michael Hearst

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Some structures — like the Eiffel Tower and China’s Great Wall — are familiar. Others, however,...

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From Mud Huts to Skyscrapers

By: Christine Paxmann

Age Level: 9-12 years old

A journey through the history of architecture, from the earliest mud huts to today’s soaring...

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Take Shelter: At Home Around the World

By: Nikki Tate

Age Level: 9-12 years old

A roof, a door, some windows, a floor. All houses have them, but not all houses are alike. Some...

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The Art of Construction: Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers and Architects

By: Mario Salvadori

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Students discover the basic principles necessary to build all types of structures used in everyday...

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The Future Architect's Handbook

By: Barbara Beck

Age Level: 9-12 years old

For children with a passion for drawing, or dreams of creating buildings, this book explores how...

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The Story of Buildings

By: Patrick Dillon

Age Level: 9-12 years old

"Every building has a story to tell." From the pyramid erected so that an Egyptian pharaoh...

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What It Feels Like to Be a Building

By: Forrest Wilson

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Have you ever felt squashed? Squeezed? Pulled? Tugged? If so, then you know what it feels like...

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Who Built That? Modern Houses

By: Didier Cornille

Age Level: 9-12 years old

A tour through ten of the most important houses by the greatest architects of the 20th and 21st...

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