Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BUILT TO LAST by David Macaulay Kirkus Star

BUILT TO LAST

By David Macaulay (Author) , David Macaulay (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-34240-5
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Significantly updating the Caldecott Honor–winning Castle (1977) and Cathedral (1973) with new text and full-color illustrations, this hefty volume combines them with a very lightly revised Mosque (2003) for a three-in-one architectural spree. No mere colorization of the black-and-white originals of the first two books (thank goodness!), the all-new, often breathtaking images have been drawn by hand and then digitally colored to harmonize, beautifully, with the look of Mosque. The sequencing of the building processes and, in the case of Cathedral, the timing have been adjusted to accord with recent archaeological discoveries, and the discussion of the creation of the stained-glass windows (complete with heavenly blues) in Cathedral is expanded. The author's signature humor is evident throughout. "[T]he plague was gone," from the original Cathedral, becomes, "the great plague wasn't even a twinkle in some poor flea's eye," and whimsical details such as a seasick passenger on the way to Wales and a carefully labeled "mistake" in the spread introducing Cathedral's tools ground the lofty endeavors comfortably in the human realm. Take a moment to mourn the originals, then celebrate this entirely worthy revision. (Nonfiction. 8 & up)