Montessori Education & Children's Books 0-12y

BRICK, Who Found Herself in Architecture

This book by Joshua David Stein just came out today, published by Phaidon, and we loved the concept behind it.
The story is based on a truly spot-on ametaphor: a baby brick is ready to grow up into a big building. But which one?
A she starts her personal journey to find her place in the world (of architecture), Brick realises that she doesn't really feel like anything she has seen.
After a lot of worrying, she will finally find a place to belong. And it will be an unexpected one.

An easily understandable narration accompanied with beautiful illustrations and an almost monochrome colour palette (brick red, of course) which will easily engage young children.  

The story reveals multiple beautiful messages related to the development of the self.
'Great things begin with small bricks' says her mother. 
Brick is encouraged to see herself herself beyond the present time, as part of the whole.
So we have development of self-awareness, the achievement of self-confidence as she decides that she is old enough to start her journey, some aesthetic and spiritual struggle as a process that leads to the definition of her own identity.
Architecture as a metaphor of human life.
It would have been seriously easy to end up on a sugarcoated ending, and I was already dreading that Brick would decide in the end to be part of a monument.

'But as she peered at the walls of these castles, she saw the scars that years of fighting had caused. Brick did not want to fight, so she moved on' 

The focus here is not on growing up/getting bigger, the focus is not on the result.
So basically, it's not a book for parents obsessed with raising 'successful' kids (in a traditional meaning)
Brick can't really overcome the owe when seeing all the magnificent buildings on one side, and she feels she doesn't belong to residential buildings either. She just stops there at some point, embracing other bricks on a beautiful, small path, where other bricks are walking, continuing their own journey.
A story that takes the pressure off children, setting them free from expectations and plans, allowing them to be whatever they want, enjoying the journey. 

A valuable book to get children into architecture, and can work as an introduction to further reading, like this one.
BRICK Who Found Herself in Architecture [2018]
Words by Joshua David Stein
Art by Julia Rothman
English edition by Phaidon available here
Reading age: 4+
Themes: Identity, Self-development, Growing up

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