CM May 3, 
1996. Vol. II, Number 29

image Waiting for Filippo:
     The Life of Renaissance Architect Filippo Brunelleschi.

Michael Bender.
Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 1995. Unpaginated, boards, $24.95.
ISBN: 1-895714-85-0.

Subject Headings:
Brunelleschi, Filippo, 1377-1446-Juvenile literature.
Architects-Italy-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Toy and movable books.

Grades 4 and up / Ages 9 and up.
Review by Lorraine Douglas.



     Filippo's plan for the dome was in fact two domes: one inside the other. Both domes were built with interlocking brickwork called herringbone. This type of brickwork made the domes self-supporting so that there was no need for centering.

image POP-UP ENTHUSIASTS will love this three-dimensional look at the life of a man who charged the history of architecture. Brunelleschi lived in Florence as an apprentice goldsmith and sculptor. In 1401 he entered the famous competition to design the Baptistry doors. Brunelleschi and Ghiberti were chosen as the winners. But Filippo turned the commission and decided to work in architecture.

     Michael Bender's text relates Brunelleschi's accomplishments in a casual and readable style, accompanied by many black-and-white and colour illustrations.

image      Bender explains Brunelleschi's development of a theory of perspective, and even young readers could easily follow the rules for one-point perspective and draw their own buildings. Brunelleschi's major feat -- the design for the dome of the Cathedral of Florence -- is explained through a lift-the-flap structure that reveals the ribs and wooden beams that held the dome together. The pop-ups are beautifully designed and executed, especially the two most dramatic: a theatre, and a citadel that towers above the page.

     An informative and entertaining book with an appealing approach.

Highly recommended.

Lorraine Douglas is Youth Services Coordinator for the Winnipeg Public Library.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to

Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364