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David Macaulay was born on December 2, 1946, in Burton-on-Trent, England. When he was eleven, his family moved to Bloomfield, New Jersey. During his adjustment to the new setting and culture, David began teachig himself to draw, and found out how much he liked it. After high school, he went to the Rhode Island School of Design, and earned a BA in architecture.

He worked for an interior designer for a little while, then taught junior high, then taught at RISD, then began to experiment with writing and illustrating books. He went to France, intending to make a book about gargoyles. He ended up creating Cathedral, a densely-illustated book depicting the construction of an imaginary French cathedral, from the groundwork to the spire. It caught the eye of a Houghton Mifflin editor, who published it, and the book was in instant success.

David went on to create numerous other books along the same lines, showing and explaining the construction of a Roman city, the pyramids, a castle, etc. They're rad. Raddest is The Way Things Work, in which he shows and tells about the workings of everything from simple levers to steamships to space shuttles. Plus, there's wooly mammoths!

His books have sold more than two million copies in the United States alone, and they've been translated into a dozen languages. His most recent book is Building the Book Cathedral, which deals with the process of creating one of his books, which is more interesting than it sounds.

David is married, has a daughter and a slightly spooky mustache, and lives in Warren, Rhode Island.


The Amazing Brain


Black and White   (1991 Caldecott Medal)

Building Big

Building the Book Cathedral

Carpentry for Children


Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction

Great Moments in Architecture


Motel of the Mysteries

The New Way Things Work


Rome Antics





The Way Things Work

Why the Chicken Crossed the Road

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