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SKYSCRAPER by Susan E. Goodman


by Susan E. Goodman & photographed by Michael J. Doolittle

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 2004
ISBN: 0-375-81309-8
Publisher: Knopf

Chock-a-block with big, bright, sharp color photos, this pictorial essay follows a New York City skyscraper (the new Random House Building, in a deft bit of product placement) from architect’s table to furniture deliveries, then pulls back for dramatic high- and low-angle shots, plus some historical background. Without stretching the metaphor too far, Goodman compares the building to a human body, its skin being the curtain wall, for instance, the mechanical and electrical systems its “lungs and guts and nervous system.” She also introduces (and quotes) several specialized workers, describes the often-Byzantine scheduling required to run a midtown-Manhattan construction site, and strews the margins with random, child-friendly facts, such as the number of toilets in the finished building, or the average weight of a hard hat. A final page on the literally worldwide origins of the skyscraper’s materials is a perfect lagniappe for this soaring, stirring account. (Nonfiction. 7-9)