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THE WONDERFUL TOWERS OF WATTS by Patricia Zelver

THE WONDERFUL TOWERS OF WATTS

By Patricia Zelver (Author) , Frané Lessac (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: May 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-688-12649-9
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

 How the Italian immigrant Simon Rodia spent decades building the renowned towers next to his bungalow in ``a poor neighborhood that was half town, half country, outside the city limits of Los Angeles.'' The employee of a tile company, ``Old Sam'' used broken tile and bottles, mirrors, shells, and a miscellany of found objects to surface fantastical shapes, ``a lacy web of steel, covered with a skin of concrete.'' Though her simple narrative is short on such specifics as dates, Zelver conveys the wonder and mystery of his long labors, concluded at the age of 80. An explanatory note and photos would have been valuable additions; still, Lessac's glowing illustrations contrasting the quiet little man and his sparkling creation make an effective tribute to his unique ingenuity. The book is sure to engender interest in his achievement. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 5-10)