This biography of a famous Canadian-American architect is presented through freeform illustrations that grab your attention the way his buildings do. Energy jumps off each page, with the book’s combination of evocative words and emblematic works.
Author Blumenthal ties Frank Gehry’s Jewish heritage to his career and his vision. She does not mince words about the antisemitism that made him change his name or the disapproval of his parents regarding his art career, which they felt would be just a dream. His grandmother is his rock, giving him challah pieces to construct the shapes in his head.
Gehry has a personal vision, which he successfully forms into dramatic, useful buildings all over the world; the buildings are distinctively shaped, and they welcome millions of visitors. His daring use of form and material earn him the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize, the equivalent of the Nobel.
In this picture book, a bold, descriptive vocabulary holds its own against the driving, swirling art. Gehry studies, plays, invents, and above all dreams. Then he turns the possibilities into reality by “starting with ordinary and shaping it into extraordinary one building at a time.”
Ellen G. Cole, a retired librarian of the Levine Library of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, is a past judge of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards and a past chairperson of that committee. She is a co-author of the AJL guide, Excellence in Jewish Children’s Literature. Ellen is the recipient of two major awards for contribution to Judaic Librarianship, the Fanny Goldstein Merit Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries and the Dorothy Schroeder Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California. She is on the board of AJLSC.