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Steven Caney's Ultimate Building Book Hardcover – October 29, 2006


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Children's Christmas Books
Visit the Children's Christmas Bookstore to find stories about Santa and his reindeer, cozy books to read by the fire, and sweet stories about family celebrations.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press Kids (October 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762404094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762404094
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.8 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 4–8—Caney examines "building" in its broadest sense, encompassing everything from skyscrapers and bridges to bird feeders and peanut-shell "bricks." Opening sections investigate the history and techniques of construction, with clearly written explanations supported by black-and-white photographs and diagrams. By examining such wide-ranging examples as tree houses, chimneys, and beaver dams, the author reinforces important concepts of design in a way that is fascinating and effective. Background sections on topics such as "adhesives, tapes, and mechanical fasteners" offer useful reference data, and are also thought-provoking. The engaging overview provides strong context for the more than 300 pages of creative and appealing projects that follow. Mosquito traps, newspaper tepees, and a usable greenhouse are just a few intriguing examples. Instructions are clear enough for kids to follow, but also open-ended to encourage creativity and experimentation. Diagrams delineate key steps, while photos show kids constructing and using the products. Building materials are either household items (including toothpicks, plastic straws, and coat hangers) or easy-to-obtain supplies like PVC pipe (used for a lemonade stand, cat playground, and more). Grouped by material type, such as blocks, rods, and panels, the projects successfully demonstrate how choices of design, construction, and raw materials apply to key principles of tension and compression. Portions of this book are especially useful for reference facts and science projects. Taken as a whole, it's a comprehensive exploration of building presented in a way that leads to true learning and a lot of fun.—Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Steven Caney is an inventor and designer who consults with major corporations and is renowned as a creative problem-solver. He has written many best-selling and award-winning children’s titles, including Steven Caney’s Invention Book and Steven Caney’s Kids’ America. He works outside Boston and resides in rural New Hampshire.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
I can't imagine a kid ever getting bored with this book around.
Linda
The second half of the book includes very simple, clear instructions for many different kinds of building systems and things to do with them.
B. Shideler
This book has tremendous scope for young children through their parents.
Paige L. West

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on November 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Do you have a child who is fascinated by creating? Do you have a child that you wish would be more creative? Have I got a book for you!

Steven Caney's Ultimate Building Book is not only a book about how to build "stuff," nor is it a book of "stuff" to build, it is a comprehensive book that answers nearly every question a child (and many adults) would think to ask about structures, how they are built, and how they can do it themselves. Do you want to know what type of tent you see at the side of the lake? Did you know there were actually many types of tents? Who wants to build a greenhouse? Build people out of pasta? How about recipes for various types of modeling clay?

With loads of information about structures from nests to castles and back to musical instruments, this book is a one-stop shop for the creative thinker. My six-year-old hauls around this nearly 600-page tome like it weighs nothing and will lie on his tummy, turning page after page and asking questions for an indefinite period--right up until he finds the next thing he'd like to try to create, and then he's off.

An interesting tidbit that surprised me, but doesn't seem to bother the kids, is that all the photos are black and white and the children in them are from several decades. Though, quite frankly, had the photos been only of the current generation, they would be out of date long before you'll get rid of the book. This one's a keeper.

Armchair Interviews says: The ultimate resource for the creative child. 5 STARS!
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Format: Hardcover
There are projects in this book for young people age 5 through college age, and even for the young-at-heart. Many of the projects use materials commonly found in the home. A child who begins with simple projects and advances to complex projects would be learning geometry and physics and the basic building blocks of architecture and the construction industry. I could see this book used by children who enjoy building projects or as a resource for family nights or home schooling or as a grandparenting resource. Congratulations, Steven Caney!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Linda on November 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Wow, this book is hu-u-u-ge and has a lot of really cool information appropriate for a wide range of ages. I can't imagine a kid ever getting bored with this book around.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Ertel on July 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book really is the "Ultimate Building Book." I am a teacher of third and fourth graders and plan to use this book to supplement my teaching in the upcoming year. It has wonderful construction ideas for children, step-by-step pictures, key vocabulary, great descriptions of all kinds of buildings in both the natural world and those constructed by people, and even includes stories and other language arts connections. Of course the connections to science, social studies, and math are natural outcomes of the projects. Wow! One could teach from this book with no other curriculum and fill a year with child-centered activities and learning. Creative students will love the ideas supplied in this book and every child will be challenged to look at the many forms of construction we see around us with new eyes. I'd recommend this book to parents of kids ages 4-14 and to teachers who enjoy providing creative educational instruction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Shideler on May 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our homeschool group met yesterday and the kids had a fantastic time building with 5 of the different building systems in this book. My kids and I were inspired to make a swimming pool noodle raft using a building system of our own. All of the moms at our meeting are ordering this book after seeing mine.

As others have said, the first half of the book is all about every kind of building type you can think of, skyscrapers to wigwams. The second half of the book includes very simple, clear instructions for many different kinds of building systems and things to do with them. Two of our favorites are a PVC greenhouse for kids and a stale bagel bird feeder. Throughout the book are little tidbits about inventions and their inventors. What a great book!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Learning All The Time on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a wonderful, ingenious book. I am shocked this book isn't more widely known, particularly in homeschooling circles (at least, the ones I moved in), where the wealth of creative ideas for making construction toys out of common, inexpensive, everyday materials would seem right up most homeschoolers' alleys. These materials can be used to make simple, elegant, and incredibly appealing projects.

There is also an excellent discussion of structures, both in nature and man-made, of buildings, of bridges and towers and so on.

It is all absolutely fascinating and I'm going to plan a class for the spring using this book as the spine.

Well worth the money. An amazing resource.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bondgirl on January 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book was a huge hit. We are a hands-on home school family, and this book was highly recommended. We are just getting into the great projects, but the book itself is a big, heavy, nicely-bound book that is fun to carry and dream about the next big job to do. Boys just love this stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dincy on December 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book whether you're an adult or child. Not only are there interesting projects to do, the author explains about the different types of architecture (buildings, bridges,etc.) found throughout the world. He also includes nature made structures such as beehives, spider webs, beaver dams, nests, termite mounds, etc. A very detailed, but easy-to-read and understand book to share with your child.
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