ABC Story Hour: Architecture, Books, and Crafts
On the second Saturday of the month, October-April, Taliesin West will offer a STEAM based story and craft hour, FREE of charge for our youngest visitors and their parents or guardians. This program is taught in our outdoor classroom so that children can be inspired by the same Sonoran Desert landscape that sparked Frank Lloyd Wright’s imagination 80 years ago.
The selected book and activity each month will be geared toward children aged 4-8; however, all are welcome and encouraged to attend! Registration for ALL guests attending the program is required.
Free with reservation
October 14, 2023, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
The Shape of the World: A Portrait 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.”
November 11, 2023, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of the Architect Zaha Hadid
“Get to know Zaha Hadid in this nonfiction picture book about the famed architect’s life and her triumph over adversity from celebrated author-illustrator Jeanette Winter.
Zaha Hadid grew up in Baghdad, Iraq, and dreamed of designing her own cities. After studying architecture in London, she opened her own studio and started designing buildings. But as a Muslim woman, Hadid faced many obstacles. Determined to succeed, she worked hard for many years, and achieved her goals—and now you can see the buildings Hadid has designed all over the world.”
December 9, 2023, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakeable Mathematician Sophie Germain
“When her parents took away her candles to keep their young daughter from studying math…nothing stopped Sophie. When a professor discovered that the homework sent to him under a male pen name came from a woman…nothing stopped Sophie. And when she tackled a math problem that male scholars said would be impossible to solve…still, nothing stopped Sophie.
For six years Sophie Germain used her love of math and her undeniable determination to test equations that would predict patterns of vibrations. She eventually became the first woman to win a grand prize from France’s prestigious Academy of Sciences for her formula, which laid the groundwork for much of modern architecture (and can be seen in the book’s illustrations).
Award-winning author Cheryl Bardoe’s inspiring and poetic text is brought to life by acclaimed artist Barbara McClintock’s intricate pen-and-ink, watercolor, and collage illustrations in this true story about a woman who let nothing stop her.
January 13, 2024, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Gaudi: The Architect of Imagination
“Your dreams can change the world!
Colorful mosaics, playful flowing forms, imaginative facades—Barcelona shines with the buildings of Antoni Gaudí. How did the son of a Catalan blacksmith become a world-famous architect? The first years of Gaudí’s life were challenging. Because of an illness, young Gaudí couldn’t attend school and was often alone. Many of his days were spent out in nature, which he would later call his great teacher. Even during his training as an architect in Barcelona, his teachers were puzzled, wondering: is he a “genius or a fool?” Many considered his unusual ideas eccentric, sometimes even crazy. But Gaudí was simply ahead of his time. His buildings are now a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site.
With an insightful eye into the world of an inspired genius, award-winning author Susan B. Katz tells of Gaudí’s life and work. Linda Schwalbe’s dazzling and powerful illustrations reflect the inventive, daring, and flamboyant style of Gaudí’s work.”
February 10, 2024, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon
“You’ve seen the building. Now meet the man whose life went into it.
Philip Freelon’s grandfather was an acclaimed painter of the Harlem Renaissance. His father was a successful businessman who attended the 1963 March on Washington. When Phil decided to attend architecture school, he created his own focus on African American and Islamic designers. He later chose not to build casinos or prisons, instead concentrating on schools, libraries, and museums–buildings that connect people with heritage and fill hearts with joy. And in 2009, Phil’s team won a commission that let him use his personal history in service to the country’s: the extraordinary Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon celebrates a contemporary black STEAM role model, a man whose quiet work enabled the creation of an iconic building reflecting America’s past and future. With a stirring text by Kelly Starling Lyons, vibrant pictures by Laura Freeman, and an afterword from Philip Freelon himself, it is sure to inspire the next generation of dreamers and builders.”
March 9, 2024, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge
“On a warm spring day in 1883, a woman rode across the Brooklyn Bridge with a rooster on her lap.
It was the first trip across an engineering marvel that had taken nearly fourteen years to construct. The woman’s husband was the chief engineer, and he knew all about the dangerous new technique involved. The woman insisted she learn as well.
When he fell ill mid-construction, her knowledge came in handy. She supervised every aspect of the project while he was bedridden, and she continued to learn about things only men were supposed to know:
Women weren’t supposed to be engineers.
But this woman insisted she could do it all, and her hard work helped to create one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.
This is the story of Emily Roebling, the secret engineer behind the Brooklyn Bridge, from author-illustrator Rachel Dougherty.”
April 13, 2024, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
The Bluest of Blues: Anna Atkins and the First Book of Photographs
“A gorgeous picture book biography of botanist and photographer Anna Atkins–the first person to ever publish a book of photography
After losing her mother very early in life, Anna Atkins (1799–1871) was raised by her loving father. He gave her a scientific education, which was highly unusual for women and girls in the early 19th century. Fascinated with the plant life around her, Anna became a botanist. She recorded all her findings in detailed illustrations and engravings, until the invention of cyanotype photography in 1842. Anna used this new technology in order to catalogue plant specimens—a true marriage of science and art. In 1843, Anna published the book Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions with handwritten text and cyanotype photographs. It is considered the first book of photographs ever published. Weaving together histories of women, science, and art, The Bluest of Blues will inspire young readers to embark on their own journeys of discovery and creativity.”