Monday, December 13, 2010


Last week I posted about Watch This Space, a kid’s book about the importance of public space in urban centres.  I got totally distracted by this book.  I really had started out to write about Metropolis : ten cities, ten centuries by Albert Lorenz (909 LoM 1996).


I recommend that you give yourself lots of time when you crack the covers of Metropolis.  This is not a book to be rushed through.  An historical survey that is rendered in an oversized, pictorial format with an awesome amount of detail starting in 11th century Jerusalem, proceeding throughout Europe (Paris, Koblenz, Lisbon, Florence, Vienna, and London), parts of Asia (Osaka, Mongolian tent cities) and ending in 20th century New York City is a lot to take in.  The focus on each of these cities, at particular times, looks at significant events that had long-lasting or long-reaching effects.  (For example, we learn about the importance of the crusades across Europe and the Middle East by focusing on the epicentre, Jerusalem.) The cut-away cross-sections of buildings, aerial views and wide-angle perspectives of cities capture the many activities of everyday people.  A timeline frame on each 2-page spread keeps us in the loop of other significant events happening in other parts of the world.

Besides finding the informational content fascinating, I think this book would provide an interesting model for kids to follow when doing historical research about a time or place.   Visually representing historical research might be a way for some students show what they have learned.  This might be a different way to assess a student’s historical understanding.

If you’re a fan of the books A City Through Time or A Street Through Time then you will take particular pleasure in this book. I recommend it for grades 5 and up. 

And remember -- give yourself lots of time to enjoy.
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shelf-employed said...

I haven't seen this one, but it looks worth checking out. (I think I'd like it for myself!) Thanks, Lisa

Tammy Flanders said...

Lisa, thanks for stopping by. This book really does excite me. There is just so much to look at and I see something different every time I open it. A marvel.

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