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Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon Contributor(s): Lyons, Kelly (Author) , Freeman Hines, Laura (Illustrator)

Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon Contributor(s): Lyons, Kelly (Author) , Freeman Hines, Laura (Illustrator)

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Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon
Contributor(s): Lyons, Kelly (Author) , Freeman Hines, Laura (Illustrator)


Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon celebrates a contemporary black STEAM role model, a man whose quiet work enabled the creation of an iconic building reflecting America's past and future. With a stirring text by Kelly Starling Lyons, vibrant pictures by Laura Freeman, and an afterword from Philip Freelon himself, it is sure to inspire the next generation of dreamers and builders.

"A biography of Philip Freelon, whose rich family history and deep understanding of Black culture brought him to the role of lead architect for the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture"--

Biographical Note:

Kelly Starling Lyons is the author of multiple award-winning picture books and chapter books, most recently Sing a Song: How "Lift Every Voice and Sing" Inspired Generations, illustrated by Keith Mallett, and the Jada Jones series, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Like Philip Freelon, Kelly grew up in Pennsylvania in a family that prized creativity, and now lives in North Carolina with a family of her own. Please visit her website at and follow her on Twitter at @kelstarly.

Laura Freeman has illustrated more than thirty picture books, including the picture-book edition of Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, which won both the NAACP Image Award and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award, and Jazz Baby and Bedtime Fun, both published by Lee & Low's Bebop Books imprint. Laura lives near Atlanta, Georgia, and you can find her on the web at

Review Quotes:

"[T]his book will inspire children who have trouble reading... and those who aspire to have careers as artists and architects. Both an inspiration and an excellent companion for a trip to the museum its subject designed." -- Kirkus Reviews

"[Freelon's] work and life story can inspire young readers to follow in his footsteps." -- School Library Journal

"In a nod to the architectural process, Freelon's story is told in five brief parts, entitled Vision, Foundation, Frame, Form, and Dream. Freeman's illustrations seamlessly incorporate architectural elements (shadows of well-known buildings, gridlines, etc.) into the brilliantly hued digital illustrations." -- The Horn Book

Jane Addams Children's Book Award, Jane Addams Peace Association
Junior Library Guild Selection
Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction, Recommended Title, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Choices, Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)

Keystone to Reading Book Award nominee, Keystone State Literacy Association


Philip Freelon's grandfather was an acclaimed painter of the Harlem Renaissance. His father was a successful businessman who attended the 1963 March on Washington. When Phil decided to attend architecture school, he created his own focus on African American and Islamic designers. He later chose not to build casinos or prisons, instead concentrating on schools, libraries, and museums--buildings that connect people with heritage and fill hearts with joy. And in 2009, Phil's team won a commission that let him use his personal history in service to the country's: the extraordinary Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

ISBN: 1620149559    EAN: 9781620149553
Publisher: Lee & Low Books    
US SRP: $20.95 US 
Binding: Hardcover
Pub Date: January 14, 2020

Physical Info: 0.4" H x 9.3" L x 11.2" W (1.1 lbs) 40 pages

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