Through Time: London
written by Richard Platt; illustrated by Manuela Cappon
Source: Orange County Public Library
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London starts off with a time line with illustrated inserts. This time line goes from 3500 B.C. to present day. What follows are 18 spectacular two page spreads that show London in different stages of history. Each spread has two-three paragraphs of text that provide background information for the time period featured. For example, in the section titled Boudicca Attacks! A.D. 60, we learn about the Celtic queen who leads an army that burns down London. It doesn't end well for this queen however as the Romans regroup and defeat her army and she poisons herself. The text is informative, but the main attraction is the detailed maps on each spread that come with labels and captions that provide more facts. It's as if you are in a helicopter and hovering over the area. Richard Platt provides a thorough history starting with a Neolithic camp set next to the Thames River. The Romans invade as well as the Black Plague over a thousand years afterward. William Shakespeare's London is a featured spread as well as Georgian London of 1783 and The Blitz of 1940. Queen Victoria and the mods of the 60's also make appearances. The book ends with a landscape of both the historic (St. Paul's Cathedral) and the brand new of buildings constructed for the recent Summer Olympics.
If you have students who like to draw, this would be a great book to put in their hands. They could construct a spread of their hometown complete with historical notes. One of the big themes of social studies, change over time, could easily be illustrated by sharing this book.