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CONCRETE Hi-res cover.jpg
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Illustrated by Steve Light

Published by Candlewick Press

A stylish, eye-opening, utterly engaging, and often wry look at one of the marvels of the material world, from the ground up.

From a lowly mixture of stone, sand, water, and cement have sprung sidewalks, streets, and skyscrapers, sturdy lighthouses and magnificent palaces, long bridges and massive dams. In ancient building practices, in modern engineering, and in the architecture of the future, humble concrete plays a mighty role in the creation of the human-made world. Brimming with facts and spiced with clever running narrative in the form of repartee-filled speech bubbles, Concrete is as intimate and entertaining as it is informative and visually sweeping. Curious readers of all ages—from would-be engineers to science and history buffs to retro-design lovers—will delight in this bold, one-of-a-kind guide to the (literal) bedrock of civilization, amplified by a bibliography in the back matter.

ALA Notable Children's Book 2023

Junior Library Guild Selection 

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year 2022

National Science Teachers Association Best STEM Book 2022

★ "Without getting too bogged down in technical nitty-gritty, Theule presents readers with the fascinating story of concrete, from its ancient nonstructural uses to today’s massive feats of engineering. The brief, clear expository text delivers the information well (as readers learn, for instance, the difference between tensile strength and compressive strength), with additional details provided by conversational, often humorous word balloons from various figures found in the illustrations." ―The Horn Book Magazine, starred review 

★ "This beautifully illustrated picture book takes a rather mundane topic and turns it into something mysterious, ancient, and unlimited."

Booklist, starred review

★ "As unpretentious but essential as its subject, this is a marvelous book—an utterly compelling read. . . . For elementary readers and up, this book will be read again and again." ―School Library Journal, starred review

“In picture books, we’re all used to seeing animal pals and bedtime rhymes. We’re a great deal less used to seeing, say, building materials, which is one reason why Larissa Theule’s ‘Concrete: From the Ground Up’ is such a delight. Another reason is that it’s a terrific work of illustrated nonfiction—engaging and informative, with witty pictures by Steve Light.” ―The Wall Street Journal 

"This fun and informative book explores the long-but-interrupted history of one of the tougher substances around. . . . Theule’s explanations are clear and concise, while Steve Light’s illustrations are playful even when they’re showing off the solidity and magnitude of concrete creations." ―The Washington Post 

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