A visit to a museum proves to be transformational for a cross-generational pair of architects.
Young Frank is a very young architect who lives with his grandfather, also an architect and also named Frank, in a stylish high-rise apartment in New York. Young Frank loves to make things with household objects: a chair out of toilet-paper rolls, a curvy skyscraper out of a stack of books. Old Frank is skeptical that real architects do this kind of thing. A visit to the Museum of Modern Art with his precocious grandson shows Old Frank that architects do in fact make all kinds of things. The Franks peruse exhibits by two famous architects also named Frank: Gehry and Lloyd Wright. Inspired by the visit, they spend the evening back at the apartment designing a whole city full of imaginative creations from found objects, including a building made entirely from chocolate-chip cookies. Young Frank feels a little older, more “like a REAL architect,” and Old Frank feels “younger—and a little wiser.” The whimsical, cartoonlike illustrations recall Viva’s New Yorker covers, and the pages are furnished in a designer palette of grays, olives and ochres.
A gentle plug for the MoMA, this exquisitely designed book would be an enticing prelude to a visit with a young child as well as an invitation to all readers to let their imaginations run wild. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)