Before I get to today’s review of a FABULOUS nonfiction book about the Golden Gate Bridge, I want to invite some of my newest readers to make sure to follow my blog and/or sign up for my review emails. You can do either to the right of this post. Thanks so much everyone!
I LOVED This Bridge Will Not Be Gray (2015, McSweeny’s) by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Tucker Nichols. It will be on my list of Current Favorite Children’s Books (which I need to write soon!). An absolute delight, this nonfiction children’s picture book about the Golden Gate Bridge needs to be on your bookshelves and reading lists.
With its beautiful illustrations and witty lines, This Bridge Will Not Be Gray explains how the shape and color of the Golden Gate Bridge came to be. Kids and adults will adore This Bridge Will Not Be Gray’s wonderful voice. This is not a boring bridge book. This is a book about the one and only very orange Golden Gate Bridge. And it definitely brings it. The speaker’s voice is absolutely wonderful, upbeat, and humorous. There are several instances in which the speaker’s presence is so very noticeable. I especially love when the speaker says, “This is true. This is a factual book.” How very postmodern! The way Eggers anticipates the reader’s reactions is just great.
Here are some teaching ideas for This Bridge Will Not Be Gray:
(1) Bring in other fiction and nonfiction sources about the Golden Gate Bridge so students can compare and contrast how fiction and nonfiction texts address the same topic.
(2) I always love having students use children’s picture books as mentor texts for their own books. Invite students to select an architectural structure in their town. After they learn more about this structure, students can compose their own children’s picture book. Community organizations (e.g. libraries, schools, galleries, book stores, etc.) might be willing to showcase these books.
Let me know what you think of This Bridge Will Not Be Gray in the comments below!