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Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece

By: Marc Harshman

Anna Egan Smucker

Illustrator: LeUyen Pham

In Bear Run, Pennsylvania, a home unlike any other perches atop a waterfall.This is Fallingwater, a masterpiece equally informed by meticulous research and unbounded imagination, designed by the lauded American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

ISBN: 9781596437180

JLG Release: Feb 2018


Sensitive Areas: None

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Awards & Honors

2018 Golden Kite Award Honor, Picture Book Illustration
Booklist Lasting Connections 2017, Science
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 2017 Blue Ribbons, Nonfiction

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Fallingwater, one of the most famous houses ever built, sits atop a waterfall in southwestern Pennsylvania. It’s a house that fits in perfectly with its surroundings—the trees, the stream, the rocks, and the waterfall. Inside the rooms, visitors can hear the water falling and see the sun shining in. But how did such a house take shape? Fallingwater, one of the most famous houses ever built, sits atop a waterfall in southwestern Pennsylvania. It’s a house that fits in perfectly with its surroundings—the trees, the stream, the rocks, and the waterfall. Inside the rooms, visitors can hear the water falling and see the sun shining in. But how did such a house take shape? That is the story Harshman and Smucker tell. Beginning with Edgar Kaufman’s invitation to architect Frank Lloyd Wright to build him a home in this rural setting, the book follows Wright as he walks around the property again and again, thinks about the project for nine months, and finally just two hours before Kaufman visits him to see the plans for the house, puts pencil to paper. Descriptive, lyrical text mirrors the subject matter:“His dreams have made him ready. He sees every boulder, tree, and waterfall. He sees the house that will live among them.” Pham’s illustrations, done mainly in blues and browns, detail the architectural process as it grows from idea to reality. VERDICT Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius is revealed for sophisticated picture book readers.—Myra Zarnowski, City University of New York

Horn Book

Young builders/dreamers will be inspired by this romantic picture-book account of the conception, design, and construction of the Frank Lloyd Wright house Fallingwater. The book opens in 1934, by which time the once-famous architect is almost forgotten. But “a stream in Pennsylvania was about to change all that.” At this point the book Young builders/dreamers will be inspired by this romantic picture-book account of the conception, design, and construction of the Frank Lloyd Wright house Fallingwater. The book opens in 1934, by which time the once-famous architect is almost forgotten. But “a stream in Pennsylvania was about to change all that.” At this point the book switches to the present tense, as Pittsburgh department-store magnate Edgar Kaufmann commissions a new home by the waterfall at Bear Run. Its “falling waters”—the image and sounds and the surrounding nature—consume Wright’s imagination for months until, in a last-minute, urgent flurry, plans for “a house like no other,” a “house on the waterfall,” are drawn up. The book’s second half details the construction work in the text while the iconic home slowly begins to emerge in the illustrations. Harshman and Smucker’s prose is by turns straightforward, staccato, and lyrical, the last of which is its most effective tonal state, especially in describing Wright’s vision: “In the thundering water, scaffolding spreads its spindly legs. Like branches extending from a tree, the house stretches out over the falls.” Readers may recognize Pham’s usual visual style in the cartoony human figures, but elsewhere the watercolor, ink, and gouache art channels Wright’s clean design and its unique, organic harmony with nature. The authors’ note discusses the context of the Fallingwater project in Wright’s career and in its historical era; an artist’s note touches on research Pham did to “convey the difficulty of such a feat.” Appended with source notes and a bibliography. katrina hedeen

Book Details

ISBN

9781596437180

First Release

February 2018

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

728/.372092 B

Trim Size

11" x 8 1/2"

Page Count

40

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.8; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 3.5; Points: 3;

Lexile

Level 620L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Roaring Brook

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics


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