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Architecture: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about architecture?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to architecture. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about architecture.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about architecture, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Buildings in Disguise to popular sellers like Iggy Peck, Architect to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Book of Mistakes.

We hope this list of kids books about architecture can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

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This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5
Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training! Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might. Little trailblazers cause great big changes. In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.
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Claudia & Moth
Written & illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6
A small girl with a passion for nature turns to her new passion for art as the seasons turn colder. Claudia loves butterflies. Blue ones. Yellow ones. Purple ones with dots. And since she can’t take them home, she paints them in all their beautiful colors. But when winter comes, there are no more butterflies to paint…until she finds a little moth. Suddenly, Claudia sees winter in a whole new light.
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A Friendship Yarn
Written by Lisa Moser & illustrated by Olga Demidova and Lisa Moser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Porcupine and Badger have always been the best of friends, so when Porcupine finds some yarn in the woods, she makes a present for Badger. And when Badger finds yarn, she makes a present for Porcupine. The only problem? It’s the same yarn—and to finish the gift, they each must unravel the other’s creation. An act of kindness turns into a fierce standoff as the friendship frays—can Porcupine and Badger set aside their differences and knit themselves back together?
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Baby 101: Architecture for Babies
Written by Jonathan Litton & illustrated by Thomas Elliott
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-3
It's never too early to get an A+ in architecture! Here's a fun new board book series that introduces a wide array of nonfiction subjects to babies and toddlers. Welcome to Baby 101, where big subjects are tailored for little babies. Featuring simple words and bright and engaging illustrations, this introduction to architecture includes information about how buildings are made, featuring famous sites like the Colosseum, the Taj Mahal, and the pyramids. So don't be late, because this is one class that babies won't want to miss. Look for the surprise lift-the-flap ending!
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When Jackie Saved Grand Central
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Before she was an iconic First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy was a born-and-raised New Yorker. She loved everything about her city, from the natural beauty of the parks to the architectural history of the buildings. So when the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper on top of the famous train station, Jackie knew they had to be stopped. She helped inspire thousands of people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark. From letter-writing campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court, this little-known story celebrates winning in the face of immeasurable odds and how one person can make a big difference.
The Book of Mistakes book
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The Girl and the Cathedral: The Story of Notre Dame de Paris book
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Iggy Peck, Architect book
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Baby's First Eames book
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  • The Book of Mistakes - Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which “mistakes” can blossom into inspiration One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake. The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush. And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky. As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas—and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too. Fans of Peter Reynolds’s Ish and Patrick McDonnell’s A Perfectly Messed-Up Story will love the funny, poignant, completely unique storytelling of The Book of Mistakes. And, like Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, it makes the perfect graduation gift, encouraging readers to have a positive outlook as they learn to face life’s obstacles.

  • The Girl and the Cathedral: The Story of Notre Dame de Paris - On an island in the Seine, a little girl plants a garden—but not a garden of flowers. It will be a garden of people, she says: Paris. And in the center of that garden will stand its guardian, a grand cathedral carved from stone and roofed with light: the majestic Notre Dame de Paris. Alas, the garden will change, as people must. The girl sees kings and revolutions, empires and democracies, wars and tragedies. The are the best of times, and there are the worst. Through it all, the light of Notre Dame keeps hope bright. But when fire strikes Notre Dame itself, the little girl is grief stricken. It seems all light has gone out—until her beloved people discover what she has planted within them all along. In the spirit of The Little Prince, The Girl and the Cathedral is a moving story about life, freedom, love, loss, and the glory of new beginnings. It is a story about Notre Dame, but much deeper, it is a story about all that Notre Dame stands for. The book includes a fold-out timeline of Notre Dame’s history with period paintings and photographs. Even better, the front cover has built-in plastic windows that shine when help up to the light! Adults and kids alike will treasure this stunning, heartwarming tribute to the cathedral of Notre Dame.

  • Iggy Peck, Architect - This beloved New York Times bestselling picture book is a fun-filled, inspiring story about the power of teamwork and the importance of celebrating individual gifts and self-expression. And now you can follow Iggy’s further adventures—with his friends Rosie Revere and Ada Twist—in the instant New York Times bestseller Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters, an all-new chapter book starring The Questioneers! Some kids sculpt sand castles. Some make mud pies. Some construct great block towers. But none are better at building than Iggy Peck, who once erected a life-size replica of the Great Sphinx on his front lawn! It’s too bad that few people appreciate Iggy’s talent—certainly not his second-grade teacher, Miss Lila Greer. It looks as if Iggy will have to trade in his T square for a box of crayons . . . until a fateful field trip proves just how useful a mast builder can be.

  • Baby's First Eames - This whimsically illustrated board book offers a delightful A-to-Z overview of modern design icons for the toddler set. Parents who appreciate architecture and modern design will get a kick out of sharing their passion with their kids. From Alexander Calder to Frank Lloyd Wright, from Knoll furniture to Noguchi sculptures, the visionaries, buildings, and captivating objects introduced in Baby’s First Eames make design fun and accessible for aesthetes of all ages.

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Crocodali
Written & illustrated by Lucy Volpin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Help Crocodali, the most talented painter in the whole wide world, create a masterpiece by tilting, shaking, rubbing, and blowing on the book. I am Crocodali, the most talented painter in the whole wide world. And you are in my studio! In this interactive picture book, children can follow Crocodali the painter's instructions to help him create a masterpiece that will spark children's curiosity! Crocodali tells readers to tilt the book to straighten the canvas, shake the book to spread the paint, blow on the book (but not too hard!) to help the painting dry, and much more. As they help Crocodali paint his masterpiece, children will be able to express their creative sides and learn to appreciate art.
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Knee-High Norman
Written by Laurence Anholt & illustrated by Arthur Robins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Strong giants Fee, Fi, Fo, and Fum build the best castles in the land with the help of brilliant designs from Knee-High Norman, but can they do it without him?
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The Frame-Up
Written by Wendy Mcleod MacKnight & illustrated by Ian Schoenherr
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
When Sargent Singer discovers that the paintings in his father’s gallery are alive, he is pulled into a captivating world behind the frame that he never knew existed. Filled with shady characters, devious plots, and a grand art heist, this inventive mystery-adventure celebrates art and artists and is perfect for fans of Night at the Museum and Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer. There’s one important rule at the Beaverbrook Gallery—don’t let anyone know the paintings are alive. Mona Dunn, forever frozen at thirteen when her portrait was painted by William Orpen, has just broken that rule. Luckily twelve-year-old Sargent Singer, an aspiring artist himself, is more interested in learning about the vast and intriguing world behind the frame than he is in sharing her secret. And when Mona and Sargent suspect shady dealings are happening behind the scenes at the gallery, they set out to find the culprit. They must find a way to save the gallery—and each other—before they are lost forever. With an imaginative setting, lots of intrigue, and a thoroughly engaging cast of characters, The Frame-Up will captivate readers of Jacqueline West’s The Books of Elsewhere.
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The Art of Eric Carle
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
Carle is one of the most beloved illustrators of children's books. This retrospective is more than just an appreciation of his art, however. The book also contains an insightful autobiography illustrated with personal photographs, an anecdotal essay by his longtime editor, a photographic essay on how Carle creates his collages, and writings by Carle and his colleagues. Still, it is the artwork in the oversize volume that seizes the imagination. More than 60 of his full-color collage pictures are handsomely reproduced and serve as a statement of Carle's impressive talent. _\- Booklist_
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Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction
Written by David Macaulay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-12
Readers worldwide recognize Caldecott Medal winner David Macaulay's imaginary Cathedral of Chutreaux. This critically acclaimed book has been translated into a dozen languages and remains a classic of children's literature and a touchstone for budding architects. Cathedral's numerous awards include a prestigious Caldecott Honor and designation as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year for Macaulay's intricate pen-and-ink illustrations. Journey back to centuries long ago and visit the fictional people of twelfth-, thirteenth-, and fourteenth-century Europe whose dreams, like Cathedral, stand the test of time.
If I Built a School book
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If You Lived Here book
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Pyramid book
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Meet the House Kittens book
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  • If I Built a School -

  • If You Lived Here - Features intricately detailed, bas-relief collage spreads of dwellings in other world regions and historical times to explain how different people live and have lived—from a village house in South Africa that tells the story of its family to a floating green house in the Netherlands. 20,000 first printing.

  • Pyramid - Through concise text and richly detailed black and white illustrations we come to know the philosophy of life and death in ancient Egypt.

  • Meet the House Kittens - All Marmalade wants to do is build things. She is, after all, a trained architect. She’s also a distractingly adorable kitten. Fed up with not being taken seriously because she’s so cute,Marmalade bands together with a handful of other aspiring builders—all of themkittens. But in a world where humans call the shots, can the KittenConstruction Company prove their worth . . . without giving up the very thingsthat make them kittens? (Don’t worry, dear reader, the answer is definitely”yes”!)

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Buildings in Disguise
Written & illustrated by Joan Marie Arbogast
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9
Profiles Lucy the elephant, in Margate, N.J., and other buildings made to look like something else, including gas stations, lodgings, restaurants, amusement parks, and offices, and discusses the future of such designs.
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Unbuilding
Written & illustrated by David Macaulay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
This fictional account of the dismantling and removal of the Empire State Building describes the structure of a skyscraper and explains how such an edifice would be demolished.
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Dreaming Up
Written & illustrated by Christy Hale
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10
Cup on cup stacking up, smaller, smaller, and growing taller! Children building— Concrete poetry— Pair them with notable structures from around the world and see children’s constructions taken to the level of architectural treasures. Here is a unique celebration of children’s playtime explorations and the surprising ways childhood experiences find expression in the dreams and works of innovative architects. Come be inspired to play—dream—build—discover!
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Skyscraper
Written & illustrated by Jorey Hurley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Acclaimed picture book creator Jorey Hurley whose work has been called “stunning” and “dramatic” tells the story perfect for the youngest reader of all the different and mighty trucks it takes to build a city skyscraper! What once was a vacant lot, watch as truck by truck, a towering skyscraper is built in this beautifully illustrated picture book about trucks and construction. This beautiful picture book includes a glossary of fourteen truck images and their names.
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Walk This Underground World
Written by Kate Baker & illustrated by Sam Brewster
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
An around-the-world and back-in-time adventure exploring curious worlds hidden beneath our feet, from underground burrows to ancient cities and shopping malls This stunning lift-the-flap book takes readers on a journey around the globe and deep underground. There they'll find amazing hidden worlds teeming with life — from prairie-dog towns and ant cities to opal mines and treasure-filled tombs. Each spread is bursting with details and surprises to discover in the cutaway artwork and under the flaps. With so much to see and explore, this is a perfect gift for young adventurers.
Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland into a Home book
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Up! Up! Up! Skyscraper book
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The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright book
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Splat! book
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  • Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland into a Home - Frank Lloyd Wright, a young boy from the prairie, becomes America’s first world-famous architect in this inspirational nonfiction picture book introducing organic architecture — a style he created based on the relationship between buildings and the natural world — which transformed the American home.** Frank Lloyd Wright loved the Wisconsin prairie where he was born, with its wide-open sky and waves of tall grass. As his family moved across the United States, young Frank found his own home in shapes: rectangles, triangles, half-moons, and circles. When he returned to his beloved prairie, Frank pursued a career in architecture. But he didn’t think the Victorian-era homes found there fit the prairie landscape. Using his knowledge and love of shapes, Frank created houses more organic to the land. He redesigned the American home inside and out, developing a truly unique architecture style that celebrated the country’s landscape and lifestyle. Author Barb Rosenstock and artist Christopher Silas Neal explore the early life and creative genius of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, highlighting his passion, imagination, and ingenuity.

  • Up! Up! Up! Skyscraper - Snappy rhymes invite young readers to watch workers dig, pour, pound, and bolt a skyscraper into existence. Simple yet satis-fying sidebars provide further information about each step in the construction process. Perfect for preschoolers and all those who dig diggers. Quirky, colorful art enhance the appeal of a construction site with all the equipment and sounds of building. The 2017 Summer Reading Theme: Build a Better World!

  • The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright - A little boy who loves to find shapes in nature grows up to be one of America’s greatest architects in this inspiring biography of Frank Lloyd Wright. When Frank Lloyd Wright was a baby, his mother dreamed that he would become a great architect. She gave him blocks to play with and he learned that shapes are made up of many other shapes. As he grew up, he loved finding shapes in nature. Wright went on to study architecture and create buildings that were one with the natural world around them. He became known as one of the greatest American architects of all time.

  • Splat! - For fans of The Book with No Pictures and Press Here, this hilarious interactive picture book lets kids in on the joke. “A brilliantly playful book that experiments with the physical boundaries of the book as an object, encouraging interaction and imagination.” —Oliver Jeffers, bestselling illustrator of The Day the Crayons Quit See what happens when flipping the page of this gleeful picture book gets you—SPLAT!—a pie in the face, followed by—SQUISH!—an insect sandwich, and—SPLASH!—a deluge of water balloons. Bright colors and appealing visual gags add up to a perfect mess—no cleanup necessary.

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