Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon By Kelly Starling Lyons & Laura Freeman

Back of Book:
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.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Lee and Low Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Kelly Starling Lyons and Laura Freeman created a fantastic and inspirational picture book about the life and work of late Philip Freelon, the famed African American architect who was the lead designer for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on The National Mall in Washington, D.C. The text begins with Freelon’s childhood and describes his love of art and his difficulty with reading. As Phil went on to college, his love of design grew and he realized his dream of becoming an architect. His dream was to create something that would leave a lasting impression on society. In 2003 a plan was set in motion to create a national memorial that would celebrate Black achievement. Phil was chosen along with Max Bond and David Adjaye to create a structure that would honor those who came before them. They wanted to create something that would contribute to the struggle for social justice. They achieved their goal and created a memorial that is a breathtaking blend of past and present.
The illustrations by Laura Freeman are done digitally and breathtaking. Each picture is filled with vibrant colors and details that draw readers into the story. The back of the book has a note from Phillip Freelon himself that shares with readers more about his life and vision behind the museum. This is a terrific story about a one-man who created a monument that no one would forget.
Ages 8 and up
40 Pages

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