Young Frank, Architect, written by children’s author and illustrator Frank Viva and published this month by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, is the museum’s first commissioned picture book for children aged three to eight, and tells the story of Young Frank, an aspiring architect, and his grandfather, Old Frank. Old Frank is skeptical about Young Frank’s imaginative creations, and suggests a visit to MoMA, so that they can see ‘real’ architects’ work.
Upon exploring MoMA’s collections, the two are inspired by the work of other architects, such as Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright. Old Frank is amazed to see that real architects do indeed use unusual materials and create unusual shapes, and the grandfather and grandson return home to create all kinds of structures: “tall ones, fat ones, round ones, and one made from chocolate chip cookies.” The beautifully illustrated book is printed using a rich nine color process as opposed to the standard four, and besides telling a heartwarming story about intergenerational learning and creativity, serves as an introduction to the museum’s collections.
Young Frank, Architect is currently only available in the MoMA store but is scheduled for general release in September. Viva is a Toronto-based author and illustrator and founder of branding and design consultancy Viva & Co. His other books include Along A Long Road and A Long Way Away.