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HOUSE by Albert Lorenz


by Albert Lorenz & illustrated by Albert Lorenz & Joy Schleh

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8109-1196-5
Publisher: Abrams

This handsome book, subtitled “Showing How People Have Lived Throughout History with Examples Drawn from the Lives of Legendary Men and Women,” comes in the wake of Lorenz’s Metropolis (1996) and is just as meticulously crafted. A welter of details appears on every spread, yet there is always open space, a crisp, incisive text, and visual and verbal humor to keep things afloat. Lorenz gathers under his roof any structure that has been lived in for some time, so along with the expected domiciles—city apartment, serf’s cabin, Versailles, Giverny, Monticello, and such--he scatters monastic cells, the Trojan Horse, a slaving vessel, the space station Mir, and the human womb. He lightly covers the evolution of design and also introduces historic characters and their famous abodes, e.g., Sherlock Holmes’s Baker Street residence. There are moments when the book resembles a cabinet of curiosities, when a lapse of narrative warmth fails to invest the discussion of dwellings with any soul. However, the artwork is deeply satisfying and the throng of informational tidbits keeps readers turning the pages, to savor slowly or devour in one sitting. (Picture book. 7-12)