May 6, 2018

THIS BRIDGE WILL NOT BE GRAY

This Bridge Will Not Be Gray by Dave Eggers and Tucker Nichols tells young readers about the true story behind the color of the Golden Gate Bridge. 


While the Golden Gate Bridge might be the most famous bridge in the world, do you know why it's bright-orange? You don't see many bright-orange bridges, and there's a reason for that: the bridge was never meant to be so vibrant. Readers learn about how the bridge got that way, including all of the colors it could have been, like red and white, yellow and black, and even boring old gray. But through the hard work of a few very persistent architects, it became one of the most visually memorable bridges in the world.



The illustrations are cut paper, and they are the absolute perfect mirror to Eggers' text. Just like how Eggers breaks down the story for readers to its essential elements, so too does Nichols with the images. They are created from cut paper, and what readers see is what they get. There is no visual dimensionality (shading, color bleeding, even multiple colors per shape) to what we're seeing on the page other than the location of the items within the larger spread, like a hairline extending further than someone's head, or two small islands on top of solid blue water. We do get a little shadow because of the paper on paper, but Nichols is truly giving young readers the most basic of building blocks with which to frame the visual story. Overall, the book might be a history lesson, but it sure doesn't feel like one.


The revised version of This Bridge Will Not Be Gray published from Chronicle Books in March 2018.



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