New from the U.K.-based imprint Circa Press, An Igloo on the Moon: Exploring Architecture is a beautifully illustrated book designed to introduce children to the world of architecture. Written by architect/editor/publisher David Jenkins and illustrated with images by graphic artist Adrian Buckley, the book explores how and why we build — from the ironic warmth of a well-constructed igloo, to the challenges of building dwellings on the Moon (which are also like igloos, hence the title). The book is structured under seven thematic headings, each going across history and architectural styles: Simple Forms of Shelter; Keeping Cool and Staying Warm; Exploring New Types of Structure; Living Beneath the Ground; Habitable Bridges and Heroic Spans; Reaching up to the Sky; and Visions of the Future.
Jenkins, who made the book for his daughter “simply because there didn’t seem to be a book about architecture that you could give a child to inspire them,” wanted the book to come across as visually playful, while the text remains serious and informative. Keeping the text short, just one paragraph per topic, is a good length for both young readers and older readers alike. I’m a fan of the matte paper, Buckley’s creative and sometimes fantastical illustrations, and the range of topics covered, including some of my favorite structures in the world, such as the Rialto Bridge, the towers of Bologna (which I visited again last October), and the Brooklyn Bridge. I think children will particularly enjoy learning about the techniques used to create different indigenous houses, ranging from the yurts of Central Asia to iQukwane in Southern Africa.
The book would have benefited from a Table of Contents or an index, so that readers could more quickly refer to a certain project or building. I also would have also liked to have seen some kind of drawings or plans – something very basic to give the understanding that pretty much all structures begin with at least a sketch. Nonetheless, An Igloo on the Moon is an excellent resource for educating and inspiring young minds on the subject of architecture, engineering, and the built environment.
The book is available from Amazon.
Images courtesy Circa Press.
Hardcover: 130 pages
Publisher: Circa Press; First edition edition (May 1, 2015)
Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches