Thursday, September 27, 2012

Children's Book Review: Dream Something Big; The Story of the Watts Towers

Dream Something Big [The Story of the Watts Towers]

Author: Dianna Hutts Aston
Illustrator: Susan L. Roth
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers

Date: August 18, 2011

About The Author
Dianna Hutts Aston is the author of many books for children. In addition to writing for children, Dianna has established an annual Teen Writer’s Workshop for underprivileged Mexican teens and manages her non-profit foundation, The Oz Project.

The Towers
Between 1921 and 1955, Italian immigrant Simon Rodia transformed broken glass, seashells, pottery, and a dream to "do something big" into a U.S. National Landmark. Readers watch the Watts Towers rise from his little plot of land in Watts, California, through the eyes of a fictional girl. 

The story is illustrated with beautiful collages made from cut and torn paper, cloth, fibers and other "found" things.

My Thoughts
I had never heard of The Watts Towers until I read this picture book. I am astounded and amazed that one man could accomplish this task. Simon Rodia was a pioneer in reusing and recycling discarded items to create something new and unique. He worked on this project for over thirty years! I can just imagine what his neighbors were thinking.

The towers are now a National Historic Landmark and are considered an example of non-traditional vernacular architecture and American folk art.

This book does a great job presenting American history, art and architecture in a way that children will find interesting and fun. There is a section at the end of the book that shows children how to create their own Watts Tower from pipe cleaners, assorted beads and buttons, magazine clippings and foam shapes.

This is an excellent story of possibility and perseverance for children of all ages.
Highly Recommended.

My Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5

FYI ~ I checked-out this book from my local public library. I {{heart}} my public library!

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