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Architecture and city planning isn’t everybody’s favorite subject, but you can’t fail to become fascinated if you look at the books by David Macaulay. With meticulous line drawings and clear language, Macaulay demonstrates in his numerous books how a castle is built, how a Roman town was laid out, how the pyramids were constructed, how a great gothic cathedral was erected, who the craftsman were, what each did and how the various buildings and machines worked. Among Macauly’s most extraordinary books are Underground, in which he explores the networks of walls, cables, columns and pipes that lie under a great city. You have no idea, or certainly I didn’t, what it takes to keep a city going. Another remarkable Macauly book is titled Unbuilding, a book which is like a film run backwards in which the artist dismantles the Empire State Building. It’s like a great architectural dissection and the story has a thought-provoking moral too.

Peter Neumeyer is a professor of English at San Diego State University and highly recognized in the field of children’s literature. He is the author, editor, or translator of 10 books and over 100 articles. His articles and reviews appear regularly in Mother and Parents’ Choice. In 1994, he published The Annotated Charlotte’s Web, and he is currently assembling his second collection of poetry.

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