Wednesday, August 31, 2011

13 Photos Children Should Know

13 Photos Children Should Know
written by Brad Finger
2011 (Prestel)
Source: Orange County Public Library

13 iconic photographs from the 20th and 21st centuries are featured in 13 Photos Children Should Know. Each photograph is accompanied by a narrative and other photos that provide facts about the picture. For example, one photo shows Tenzing Norgay on top of Mt. Everest in 1953. He is holding an ice axe with the flags of many nations attached. Author Brad Finger provides information about why it is so difficult to climb the mountain and how the two men, Norgay and Edmund Hillary, were able to scale it. A time line runs across the top of the page showing more facts connected to the photograph. Other photographs include Albert Einstein's tongue wagging, Buzz Aldrin on the moon, and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. My favorite is a photograph of a row of men sitting on a beam high in the sky while working on the construction of the Rockefeller Center. It gives me goosebumps seeing them so casually eating lunch while hundreds of feet in the air with no attachment to the beam.

One of the reasons why I like books in the 13 series (Paintings, Art Mysteries, Buildings, American Artists) is you can create arguments for what should be included in a particular book. In this book, I would have included the picture of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square at the end of World War II. These books make for interesting discussions. They can also be the beginning of a research project. Students can be handed photographs and asked to research the background of the event depicted in the picture. If you are teaching time lines, 13 Photos would also work well in this capacity.

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