Do you know what kind of houses allow people in the snowy Northeast to feed their cows without ever going outside? Did you know that there are about 12,000 people currently living in cave dwellings today, some in entire villages of caves? Would you like a house that both floats and has steering wheels (and isn’t a houseboat)?
Giles Larouche highlights houses from around the world from Greece to China to South Africa. For each house he describes the materials used in the design and the history and culture behind the design. All of us (including my architect husband) learned some new things and had fun imagining ourselves in the different houses. The boys each had a list of houses they would like H. to consider building for them (including a chateau for John and just about every house for David). The diversity of types of houses is amazing to think about: from yurts in Mongolia to Pueblos in the Southwestern U.S. to houses on stilts in the South Pacific.
What really made this book a standout was the intricate illustrations. Described as a “bas-relief paper cut collage”, I’m not entirely sure how Larouche does these. On his website it is described as complicated process involving multiple steps of sketches, cutting and gluing in layers. The result is visually stunning and amazingly detailed.
Check out Nonfiction Monday at Wendie’s Wanderings for more nonfiction picture books.