The Golden Gate Bridge is the most famous bridge in the world. It is also, not entirely coincidentally, the world’s only bright-orange bridge. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way.
I am devouring a book that I will be reviewing on my blog in January about ways of revisiting reading through new and innovative ways of teaching kids how to read. One of the great suggestions was to read more nonfiction books to kids. In that vein, I started to seek out interesting and fun books for my kindergartner that would be educational and enjoyable for us to read together or for her to read to me. I found a gem of a book called This Bridge Will Not Be Gray by an independent publishing company called McSweeney’s and I just had to share with my readers!
In This Bridge Will Not Be Gray, fellow bridge-lovers Dave Eggers and Tucker Nichols tell the story of how the Golden Gate Bridge that opened in San Francisco in 1937, known for it’s bright-orange color, was not actually supposed to be ‘golden’. In fact, most people wanted the bridge to be boring old GRAY. The Gray Gate Bridge doesn’t have the same nice ring to it, does it? So how did it happen? To be perfectly blunt, it took the vision of a few architects that decided to fight for what they wanted – even if it was just a color. Interestingly, the famous color was originally used as a sealant for the bridge!
In this fun history lesson for kids, this beautifully designed book, made with paper cut-outs is both beautiful and inspirational, This Bridge Will Not Be Gray is an impressively true story of how inspiration and beauty can come from the most unexpected places. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most memorable man-made objects ever created, and it leaves one to wonder if it would be the same architectural wonder if it was yellow, or red, or *gasp* gray? Not only is the famous ‘International Orange’ color synonymous with the famous suspension bridge, it also complements the natural surroundings and enhances the bridge’s visibility in fog. So next time you cross over the Golden Gate Bridge, think about such people like consulting architect Irving Morrow who stuck to his ideals and made the bridge golden.
About the Author: Dave Eggers is the best-selling author of ten books including A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award; Zeitoun, winner of the American Book Award and Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and What Is the What, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of France’s Prix Medici. Eggers lives in Northern California with his wife and two children.
About the Illustrator: Tucker Nichols is an artist based in Northern California. His work has been featured at the Drawing Center in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Denver Art Museum, Den Frie Museum in Copenhagen, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. His drawings have been published in McSweeney’s, The Thing Quarterly, Nieves Books and the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times.
Donate! Support McSweeney’s! McSweeney’s is an independent publisher in San Francisco committed to discovering outstanding new writing from all over the world and presenting it in ways that celebrate its worth and extend its reach. As a small press, they rely on the help of their members and donors to pursue ambitious literary projects—projects that take risks, that support ideas beyond the mainstream marketplace, and that nurture emerging work. Donations are tax-deductible* and support the discovery, production, and distribution of new books and periodicals, as well as new humor writing published on their website daily.
List Price: $ 19.95 (Currently on sale at Amazon.com for $14.00)