The Definitive Guide to

Brick by Brick

Written & illustrated by Heidi Woodward Sheffield
Published by Nancy Paulsen Books
4.94 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.6 / 5.0
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Prices as of Nov 26
Retail Price
used $7.88
May 5, 2020
Publication Date
Target Age

What Does Bookroo Think of Brick by Brick

“A child’s dream of a loving home is realized in this beautiful collage of a bricklayer and his family.”

Collage illustrations introduce a small family with a son who adores his strong father, a bricklayer with “arms like stone.” Papi’s workday is shown in unison with his son’s, comparing their tasks as Papi touches the sky climbing scaffolding and the son reaches up while on top of the playground. “Papi’s work is brick by brick. Mine is book by book.” As dad builds buildings, the boy molds his playdough architecture. When the young boy asks his father when they will have their “always house,” Papi replies with a “someday” and continues hard at work mixing cement, laying bricks, and working until the dark. On Saturday, after a special breakfast, Papi surprises his boy with their new, forever home. Sheffield’s story shines for its rugged, earthy illustrations built with varying materials, matching the bricklayer’s profession, as well as the focus on a family with a blue collar job. The parallels between the boy’s and his father’s day beautifully demonstrate the boy’s utter adoration for his father—further expanding on the loving home shown through the unique and lovely illustrations of the family’s simple moments eating breakfast, sharing a hug, and working together in the yard. Other elements, such as speckles of Spanish phrases and uses of onomatopoeia, piece together to build the view of this family’s culture, dreams, and character. Filled with sweet sentiment, the story of this boy and his family contains the overarching reminder of a child’s desire for stability and love.

What's Brick by Brick About

Publisher Summary

A striking debut celebrating the warm bond between a little boy and his dad as they work hard to achieve their dreams

Papi is a bricklayer, and he works hard every day to help build the city, brick by brick. His son, Luis, works hard too–in school, book by book. Papi climbs scaffolds, makes mortar, and shovels sand. Luis climbs on the playground and molds clay into tiny bricks to make buildings, just like Papi. Together, they dream big about their future as they work to make those dreams come true. And then one Saturday, Papi surprises Luis with something special he’s built for their family, brick by brick.

What Kind of Book is Brick by Brick

Video Gallery

Quotes from Brick by Brick

  • “Papi feels like the sun, hot and glistening.”
    “Tonight I dream in my house. Nuestra casa para siempre- our always house.”

Where Does Brick by Brick Stand Out

Everyday Core Feeling

The “Everyday Core Feeling” badge is awarded to exceptional books addressing common but powerful feelings.

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
5.25 / 7.0
The Notorious RAD
Mom of 1. Wife to 1. #1.
4.5 / 7.0
B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be! Recently enjoyed The Hobbit, Becoming, and The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel.
5.0 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
5.0 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include Brick by Brick

Book Topics › father-son relationships
Children's Books About Father-son Relationships
Book Topics › home
Children's Books About Home
Book Topics › Hispanic Americans
Children's Books About Hispanic Americans
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Who Wrote Brick by Brick

author & illustrator
Heidi Woodward Sheffield

Heidi Woodward Sheffield ( has received numerous awards from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for her illustrations, and <i>Brick by Brick</i> is her first picture book. On any given day, she can be seen taking photographs of textures that inspire her stories and collages. She especially drawn to old brick buildings, and likes daydreaming about the strong hands that built them and the people who lived there. She lives in Northville, Michigan.

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What Has Heidi Woodward Sheffield Said About Brick by Brick

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Heidi know that you want more details about Brick by Brick! Try tweeting Heidi on twitter (@wwwheidibooks) or messaging Heidi on instagram (

Heidi Woodward Sheffield's Book Dedication

To Mom and Dad, who built their lives brick by brick

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Book Details

Publication Date:
May 5, 2020
Text Details:
Text set in Coventry ITC Std
Illustration Details:
The illustrations were created using photographs, digital painting, and collage. Heidi used brick photos to create Papi and Luis, emphasizing their strength and fortitude.
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
WorldCat Number (OCLC):

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Core Score - 70%
Making good progress . . .
Depth Score - 37%
Just the barebones.
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