In My Own Backyard
Judi Kurjian, author
Judi Kurjian has always been fascinated with the idea of discovering clues about the past in the rocks under her feet. She majored in geography at Barnard College of Columbia University and has since continued in her readings on geology, history, archaeology, anthropology, and the glacial history of the earth.
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David R. Wagner, illustrator
With over 20 years of experience as a published and nationally recognized historical illustrator, David Wagner's work is marked by his unique perspective. Combining creative and technical skill, he can bring any subject to life. David's colorful illustrations display a remarkable historical accuracy due to his diligent research and consistent attention to detail.
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- Kids' Pick of the Lists
Geologic time collapses into a single morning when a youngster peers through a bedroom window and wonders ``how many people had stood where I was, looking at this very same place.'' Suddenly, the quiet landscape of garden, brook and mountain reverses its usual forward course toward noon and turns backward in time. A succession of scenes--showing, variously, people cutting hay with scythes; a sawmill and oxen teams; settlers; Native Americans celebrating a harvest--carry the reader deep into history. As the time trip gathers speed, the boy sees glaciers, dinosaurs, dense steamy air, swamps swelling into oceans and ``a beach with hissing sulphur springs.'' Wagner's historically accurate oil paintings add to Kurjian's enthusiastic text an otherworldly mood which, along with the author's attention to details, awakens the reader to the awe of geologic time. Included is a time line presenting recent history (everything since the woolly mammoth) as a tiny fragment, and matching the names of epochs, periods and eras to the scenes depicted in the book.
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Page count: 32
11 x 8 1/2