Customer Reviews: Steven Caney's Ultimate Building Book
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Customer Reviews

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on November 15, 2006
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 Though, quite frankly, had the photos been only of the current generation, they would be out of date long before you'll get rid of the book.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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on January 4, 2007
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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on November 5, 2006
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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on July 17, 2009
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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on May 14, 2009
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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on June 24, 2016
I originally borrowed this book from the library and was just thrilled with the number of ideas. I teach a science class in which we do STEM projects and since the budget does not include materials to build with my students use recyclables. I purchased this book because it inspires me to think up more neat projects with which to challenge my students.
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on December 28, 2015
A must have for any young aspiring architects or construction workers. It contains hundreds of pages of pictures, diagrams, facts, experiments, and explanations about architecture, tools, buildings, and design. I love the multitude of ideas he includes for projects that use the fundamental principles he teaches in the book.
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on September 20, 2007
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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on January 6, 2009
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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on June 26, 2011
Took this book out of the library for my son, 13, because he likes to build stuff. Decided it was a book we should own. It is full of information for kids on how to build things, how to correctly use tools, and why things work. I especially like it because it explains how to use tools and which tools to pick. It includes quite a bit of history and explanation, which you can skim or skip, but it is aimed at older children. My son likes to invent and make stuff. This book is great for things like, "If I want to build a bridge over something, what shapes should I make the beams?" And, "Why are certain configurations of beams stronger than others?" The book also shows a lot of ways to use materials around the house and in nature - so it doesn't require buying a lot of stuff. I'm hoping this will help my son make his inventions and creations stronger and more successful.
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