Building on Nature

The Life of Antoni Gaudi

Rachel Rodriguez; illustrations by Julie Paschkis

Henry Holt and Co.

Download Image Rachel Rodriguez; illustrations by Julie Paschkis Building on Nature

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In a small village in Spain

lives a boy named Antoni Gaudí.


His home is in Catalonia, a place of jagged mountain peaks and silvery olive trees, splashed by the sparkling sea. The wild beauty of this landscape makes a deep impression. He thinks of it as the Great Book of Nature, and he will read from it all of his life.

Gaudí becomes an architect, learning the rules of form and structure that buildings are supposed to follow. But the shapes and colors of the natural world still inspire him, and he works them into his buildings. Leaves climb up walls. Pillars are giant animal feet. A long bench snakes around a playground.

Antoni Gaudí turned nature into art, and in the process he revolutionized the world of architecture.

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Praise for Building on Nature

Praise for Building on Nature:
“An enchanting introduction.”—Publishers Weekly
“On one level, the result is a book that uses the artist’s timeless works to construct a sprawling but coherent illustration of the creative process. On another, it is simply pure joy to look at.”–Booklist, starred review
“There’s plenty here to have young aesthetes hankering for a plane ticket to Spain.”—Kirkus Reviews
“An accessible introduction to a man who was inspired by the natural world to create some highly original buildings.”School Library Journal

“How wild and wonderful imaginings are realized in architecture is the subject of Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudí, written by San Francisco author Rachel Rodríguez and illustrated by Julie Paschkis (Holt; 32 pages; $16.99; ages 5-8). Curvy structures such as the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona ‘sparkle and glitter and whisper with joy,’ according to this charming portrait of their Catalonian designer.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Rodriguez writes with a lyrical vitality…that suits her subject’s radiant, innovative constructions.”—BCCB

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Rachel Rodriguez; illustrations by Julie Paschkis

RACHEL RODRÍGUEZ is the author of Through Georgia’s Eyes. She lives in San Francisco, California.

JULIE PASCHKIS has illustrated many books for young readers, including Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: AWorldwide Cinderella. She lives in Seattle,Washington.

Rachel Victoria Rodriguez
Julie Paschkis

Julie Paschkis

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Available Formats and Book Details

Building on Nature
The Life of Antoni Gaudi
Rachel Rodriguez; illustrations by Julie Paschkis


CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), IRA Children's and Young Adults Book Award


Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Henry Holt and Co.
September 2009
ISBN: 9780805087451
ISBN10: 0805087451
Picture Book Nonfiction
8.5 x 11 inches, 32 pages, Includes full-color illustrations throughout
Age Range: 5 to 8
Grade Range: k to 3 Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians

F&P Level A-Z: N
AR Quiz Number: 134367
AR Book Level: 3.2
AR Points: 0.5


From The Publisher

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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