Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His life and his ideas

Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His life and his ideas

Kathleen Thorne-Thomsen
For ages 12 and up
Chicago Review Press, 1994   ISBN: 978-1556522079

When he was just a little boy Frank Lloyd Wright's mother gave him a special set of wooden blocks. The blocks were called Froebel's blocks, designed by educator Frederich Froebel and they taught children "geometry, color, and mathematics. Frank treasured this gift and playing with the wooden pieces showed him that "everything is made from basic geometric shapes."

Frank grew up to love natural spaces and to see that within almost everything that he looked at there were the shapes and the symmetry that he admired in his precious wooden blocks. When he was a young man he decided that he wanted to be an architect. College life did not suit him and he left the University of Wisconsin after less then a year. Frank was eager to get out into the real world and so he went to Chicago to find a job.

Frank hoped that he could get a position working for one of the famous Chicago architects – one of the men who had created the "Chicago School" of architecture. After many fruitless efforts trying to find a job Frank finally got a post working for a man he greatly admired, Louis H. Sullivan. The two men became very close friends and Frank was greatly influenced by Sullivan's ideas.

After five years working for Sullivan Frank decided to strike out on his own. He wanted to choose the projects that he worked on and he felt that he needed to have some independence. He would work for himself, designing buildings that suited his tastes and ideas, for the rest of his life.

For this book the author has clearly done a great deal of research, getting inside the mind and heart of Frank Lloyd Wright, and finding ways to show her readers how the architect worked and where he got his ideas from.

Children who explore this book will not only be interested in the well written story about one of America's most famous architects, but they will also enjoy trying the twenty-one Frank Lloyd Wright related activities in the back of the book. These include how to plan seasonal festivals (Frank Lloyd Wright loved to give big parties), how to find hexagon's in nature, how to design a city, and much more.