Chicago River Bridges

The PTM Werks Series of children's books is designed to introduces kids, in a fun way, to STEM topics by answering the 

Children's Books

"why" questions they often have about the machines all around us, that most adults struggle to answer completely.

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Checkout the book trailer for Drawbridges Open and Close. This short video (2:30) filmed at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum provides a peek inside the children's book Drawbridges Open and Close.

Listen to Rick Kogan's interview of Patrick McBriarty on WGN's Radio program After Hours with Rick Kogan from June 29, 2014.

includes  Patrick McBriarty describing the importance of the Michigan Avenue Bridge on May 14, 2014.

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Latest Werks

Drawbridges Open and Close  the first book in the PTM Werks Series shows the behind-the-scenes, controls, locks, gears, and steps to reveal how a drawbridge operates.  Published by CurlyQ Press (Oct. 2014) and distributed by Ingram Books and Applewood Books.  ​Drawbridges Open and Close beautifully illustrated by Johanna H. Kim, presents a fanciful world of animal characters, vehicles and watercraft and begins with Tugboat Captain Josie (a kangaroo) owing a big barge and needs the Narrows Drawbridge to open.  Bridge Tender Todd (the fox) and his sidekick Ponticat respond by following six steps to safely open the drawbridge.

Autographed copies are available for sale below -OR- at one of the many author appearances listed on the Talks & Events page, finer bookstores, Barnes and Noble, and where every review thus

Chicago Drawbridges chronicles the importance of the bridges to the development of the Windy City from the very first wood footbridge to the iconic mechanical, steel, and concrete structures crossing the Chicago River today.  Includes 57-minute documentary plus 100-minutes of special features.

Chicago Drawbridges (DVD)


Chicago River Bridges presents the untold history and development of Chicago’s iconic bridges to become the Drawbridge Capital of the World, and is a photographic guidebook to Chicago’s amazing moveable bridges.

Chicago River Bridges (printed book)


Drawbridges Open and Close by Patrick McBriarty and playfully illustrated by Johanna Kim presents a day in the life of Bridge Tender Todd and his sidekick Ponticat to learn about the inner workings, steps, and checks to safely open and close a drawbridge.

Drawbridges Open and Close (printed book)


Member of the following Associations:

The Creative Werks of Patrick T. McBriarty


Bridges of All Kinds is about big, small, red, steel, railroad, and all kinds of bridges from across the world. This book of over 50 photographs will amaze and delight children and adults alike.

Bridges of All Kinds(printed book)


Chicago River Bridges receives high praise from the UK trade magazine

Bridge Design & Engineering.

Just Released in April - Airplanes Take off and Landintroduces Harry who is about to take his very first airplane ride.  Accompanied by his aunt Stacey, who is a pilot, she gets Harry into the pilot's lounge and the cockpit to see the behind-the-scenes and steps of flying a commercial aircraft.  Filled with fanciful animal characters and beautifully illustrated by Johanna H. Kim, this book reveals what it is like to take off and land Crow-Flies Air Flight 6, which takes Harry to visit his grandmother.  What does Harry think of flying?  Find out in this the second book in the PTM Werks Series.


Airplanes Take off and Land is published by CurlyQ Press and distributed by Applewood Books and Ingram.  Ask for it at your local public library or bookseller.  It can also be found on Barnes & Noble and

Airplanes Take off and Land by Patrick McBriarty and beautifully illustrated by Johanna Kim reveals how airplanes take off and land as Crow-Flies Air Flight 6 flies from Crosstown Field to Bayside Landing.  A sure favorite for young aviation fans and the pilots of tomorrow.

Airplanes Take off and Land (printed book)


Checkout the YouTube preview of

Airplanes Take off and Land

Presents the untold history and development of Chicago’s iconic bridges, from the first wood footbridge built by a tavern owner in 1832 to the fantastic marvels of steel . . .

far gives the book 4- or 5-Stars.  Kids enjoy reading this book over and over again.  What a great gift for birthdays or holidays to share with someone you love!

"The best non-fiction books come from authors who have a strong, potentially obsessive passion for their subject matter... the ones that make it into print are a delight: Patrick McBriarty's book in the Chicago River Bridges is no exception."    -- Helena Russell, Editor

On Tuesday, April 14 author Patrick McBriarty was interviewed by Phil Ponce about his first book Chicago 

River Bridges on Chicago Tonight, which aired on WTTW Chicago Public Television.  For more details and to watch the interview click here.

Watch the ABC 7 Chicago News segment, which

Tune into WGN Radio 720 on Sunday, April 26 between 1-3 pm CST. 

Mike Stephen will interview author Patrick McBriarty about Chicago's fantastic bridges.