Dream Something Big
The Story of The Watts Towers


Age Level: 5 and up | Grade Level: K and up.

Between 1921 and 1955, Italian immigrant Simon Rodia transformed broken glass, seashells, pottery, and a dream to “do something big” into a U.S. National Landmark. Readers watch the towers rise from his little plot of land in Watts, California, through the eyes of a fictional girl as she grows and raises her own children.

Chronicled in stunningly detailed collage that mimics Rodia’s found-object art, this thirty-four-year journey becomes a mesmerizing testament to perseverance and possibility. A final, innovative “build-your-own-tower” activity makes this multicultural, intergenerational tribute a classroom natural and a perfect gift-sure to encourage kids to follow their own big dreams.


from Kirkus, starred review
“… Aston’s telling is lyrical and reads aloud beautifully. Roth, working in her signature mixed-media collage, is the perfect choice to illustrate the building process.”

“This stunningly illustrated picture book succeeds on every level.”School Library Journal

“This book beautifully illuminates a little-known story of imagination and perseverance that resulted in a national landmark.”Starred review, Publisher’s Weekly

“…winding, poetic language evokes the strange beauty of the sculptures themselves…Children will find inspiration in Rodia’s personal, quiet call to creation.”Booklist