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Children's Nonfiction Architecture

Look at That Building!

A First Book of Structures

illustrated by Scot Ritchie

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2011
Architecture, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2011
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 4 to 7


Learning about buildings and how they are constructed has never been so much fun. This gem of a book introduces young readers to basic construction concepts through the eyes of five friends keen on building a doghouse for their pet pooch, Max. To find out more about the task, Yulee, Martin, Nick, Sally and Pedro head to the library, where they learn about foundations, beams, frames and other building fundamentals. Fun facts, bright illustrations and comic-book-style discussions among the characters add to the mix. An activity at the end of the book invites readers to make their own mini doghouse out of marshmallows, paper, glue and craft sticks.

About the author


Scot Ritchie est un auteur-illustrateur primé vivant à Vancouver, en Colombie-Britannique. Il a illustré, et parfois écrit, plus de 40 livres pour enfants, dont Suivons la carte, Dis-moi pourquoi et There was an Old Lady that Swallowed a Puck.


Scot Ritchie is an award winning illustrator who lives in Vancouver British Columbia. He has illustrated over 40 children's books, (some of which he also wrote) including Let's Go! The Story of Getting from There to Here, Up, Up and Away and the Basics for Beginners series, Hockey, Baseball and Soccer.



Scot Ritchie's profile page


  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

... an excellent introduction to architecture ...

Resource Links

... a wonderful introduction to structures ...

Canadian Children's Book News

Budding architects ... will appreciate this colorful overview.


Bright and colourful illustrations and fun facts walk children through the fundamentals of buildings and structures ...

Journal of Commerce

Librarian Reviews

Look at That Building! A First Book of Structures

After Sally’s Dad builds her a tree house, her friends come over to check it out. When Max (the dog) can’t climb up to join them, Sally and her friends decide to build Max his own house. On their way to the library, the children discover that buildings have firm foundations, sturdy walls and long, wide beams. They also look at homes in nature, super shapes like arches, domes and triangles and the frame of a building that is still under construction. The children notice that columns are like beams, only vertical, and that doors and windows are also necessary when constructing a building. Finally, as it starts to rain, the children take shelter in the tree house and discover that the roof protects them from the elements. The book also includes the directions to build a mini doghouse with marshmallows and craft sticks, and an index of terms included in the story.

This is a wonderful introduction to structures and is appropriate for preschoolers to children in the early primary grades. Each spread contains a large illustration, which makes it easy to read aloud and show to a group but will also attract little ones who cannot yet read. The explanation of each term is brief and to the point. An interesting tidbit that pertains to the topic on the page is included beneath the main text in bold letters – a nice addition for reluctant readers who find the main text too long to read. Constructing the mini doghouse is a fun way to engage children – just be sure to buy extra marshmallows for those little builders who can’t resist eating a few.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2011. Volume 34 No. 4.

Look at That Building! A First Book of Structures

Sally and her friends decide to build Max, her dog, a house and discover all they can about buildings and how they are constructed. They look at big and small structures and learn how buildings are made, what makes them strong and what keeps them standing. Readers will learn about the essential parts of a building and how structures are made in nature and they can follow simple instructions to make a mini doghouse.

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

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