Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Architecture

Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More

The Eco-Journal of Corry Lapont

by (author) Etta Kaner

illustrated by Stephen MacEachern

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2012
Architecture, Physics
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2012
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7
  • Reading age: 8 to 12


Introducing Corry Lapont: 12-year-old and aspiring “green” engineer. This dynamic title takes the form of Corry's scrapbook. It's a dazzling collection of postcards, brochures and other memorabilia documenting Corry's research into green design. Kid-friendly language explains the engineering behind some of the planet's most cutting edge towers, bridges, tunnels, domes, dams, dikes, locks and levees. These structures include the Vizcaya Bridge in Spain, where gondolas transport cars over the Nervion River, and the Channel tunnel, where trains speed between England and France in just 35 minutes. Readers will explore the environmental impact of structures, such as the pros and cons of dam construction and how rainwater can be used to cool buildings. Complex concepts are clarified with simple activities, as well as colorful drawings, fun facts and the occasional wisecrack from Corry's kid brother, Riley.

About the authors


ETTA KANER est une ex-enseignante. De nos jours, elle écrit principalement des documentaires pour les enfants et les éducateurs. Plusieurs de ses livres ont été primés; elle a notamment remporté le Silver Birch Award, le Animal Behavior Society Award et le Science in Society Book Award. Etta vit à Toronto, en Ontario.


ETTA KANER writes for both children and educators. A number of her books have won awards, namely, the Silver Birch award, the Animal Behaviour Society award, and the Science in Society book award. Etta lives in Toronto, Ontario.


Etta Kaner's profile page

Stephen MacEachern attended Sheridan Institute for animation and illustration and has taught in the illustration program there. He is a Web and print designer as well as an illustrator. He has illustrated more than ten children's books. He lives in Erin, Ontario.

Stephen MacEachern's profile page


  • Short-listed, Diamond Willow Award, The Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Award
  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Award, BC Young Reader's Choice
  • Short-listed, Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada
  • Short-listed, Silver Birch Nonfiction Award, Ontario Library Association
  • Winner, Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street Children's Book Committee
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, Science in Society Book Award, Canadian Science Writers' Association

Librarian Reviews

Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco-Journal of Corry Lapont

Two new non-fiction titles have fictional narrative threads that make the books bubble with excitement. In Hey Canada! and Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco-Journal of Corry Lapont, the books’ young female narrators set out on fact-finding journeys with interesting similarities. In Hey Canada!, nine-year old Alice journals on a netbook as she crosses our nation with her jesting Gran, her cousin Cal and his mischievous hamster. Corry, the narrator of Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco-Journal of Corry Lapont, creates a global postcard scrapbook about the fascinating structures she has researched, supported by her engineer parents and playfully encouraged by her younger brother.

Shifting the role of information downloader from character to character keeps the books fresh and fast moving. Both books offer quick facts — knowledge nuggets from the data-loving male characters. Cal, “The Official Fact Dispenser” in Hey Canada!, Tweets his impressions of haggis and dulse. In Earth-Friendly Buildings, Corry’s younger brother, Riley “The Factoid Finder,” spouts speech bubbles that insist readers “Listen to this!” The adults have their roles, too. Corry’s mom suggests one of the super interesting challenges as readers are urged to test “the strongest pier shape for a bridge.” Gran in Hey Canada! lists things for her grandchildren, as well as readers, to observe as they visit each province and territory.

Visuals are key to amping up the cool factor in each book. The themes of sibling / cousin rivalry offer fun fodder galore to talented illustrators Milan Pavlovic (Hey Canada!) and Stephen MacEachern (Earth-Friendly Buildings). Their characters also beam at readers from comic-strip-style chapterettes (“Fortress Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, 1745” in Hey Canada! and “The Locks of the Rideau Canal” in Earth-Friendly Buildings). Again, ‘mixing it up’ is the theme of the books, and drawings are interspersed with photographs. In the text next to the shiny, eye-catching image of London’s pickle-shaped Swiss Re tower in Earth-Friendly Buildings, readers learn that the building has no parking spaces for cars, “But it has lots of parking for bicycles!” Most of the photographs in Hey Canada! are small or murky and, therefore, miss an opportunity to hook readers or give clear pictorial information. However, Hey Canada! has well-done maps, features that Earth-Friendly Buildings could have used to help readers situate its dykes and domes.

Both authors have polished their skills through the publication of numerous non-fiction titles — which is evident in both their writing and their selection of facts. Earth-Friendly Buildings author Etta Kaner’s background as a teacher helps her understand which facts are appealing to young readers. Vivien Bowers, who has masterfully delivered Can-con in Wow Canada! and other Canadianthemed books, tackles her beloved topic with pep in Hey Canada! These wonderful non-fiction books inspire children of all reading abilities and interests to follow the fictional narrator’s examples and become adventurers exploring the world.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2012. Volume 35 No. 3.

Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco-Journal of Corry Lapont

This book looks at fascinating, earth-friendly structures from around the world, including skyscrapers, bridges, tunnels and domes and, in a final section, at dams, dikes, locks and levees. Also included is information about the different professionals who work on these structures and a glossary of terms. The “Check This Out” sections offer mini experiments children can perform to further their understanding of the concepts being explained.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

Other titles by Etta Kaner

Other titles by Stephen MacEachern