Peter Kent's City Across Time

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Peter Kent?s brilliant cross-sections show how an early settlement changes into a bustling, modern-day city. The lively, warm and friendly illustrations are packed with absorbing and eye-opening details, and clearly show how new buildings are constructed on the rubble of the old. Eagle-eyed readers will have hours of fun spotting the descendants of one particular family though the centuries, and seeing how once-grand building become buried and how some structures remain through the centuries. Brand-new artworks ...

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Overview

Peter Kent’s brilliant cross-sections show how an early settlement changes into a bustling, modern-day city. The lively, warm and friendly illustrations are packed with absorbing and eye-opening details, and clearly show how new buildings are constructed on the rubble of the old. Eagle-eyed readers will have hours of fun spotting the descendants of one particular family though the centuries, and seeing how once-grand building become buried and how some structures remain through the centuries. Brand-new artworks and spreads reveal the prehistoric origins of the settlement, its 21st-century development and even give a glimpse into the far future, when ice sheets threaten to overwhelm the city

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A modern scene of archeologists at work tees off this intricately illustrated journey through the history of urban life. As the book moves through the centuries, buried mammoth bones are joined by evidence of later civilizations (garbage, wells, subways), which flourish and disappear. Numerous details are presented about each historical period, while readers can explore what’s happening above and below ground. A speculative glimpse of the late 21st century shows people using electric transportation and the preservation of older buildings, but a look further into the future portrays a barren landscape, devoid of human life. An index and glossary round out this engaging portrait of layers of history. Ages 7-10. (May)
From the Publisher

Horn Book
[T]his fascinating, accessible title introduces. . . valuable clues. . . [uses] cheerfully busy drawings and detailed cross-sections [that] will reward readers with new discoveries at each turn.
 
Library Media Connection
With a bit of a "Where's Waldo" flavor, this book takes the reader on a delightful jaunt over a patch of grouond as one small English town thrives only to be replaced by another built upon it ruins. . . . the author entertains and educates with cutaway drawings of Iron Age villages and Roman settlements, medieval towns and 16th century cities, and on through the years. . . . It will leave young readers asking questions, and that's always a good thing.
 
Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences
With a detailed description of archeological tools and methods, as well as intricate illustrations of city life and structures, this fascinating book helps children to understand how cities evolved and how the well-being of city inhabitants improved over time. . . .  Added into the mix are a number of important lessons in economics, including the invention of money during the Iron Age to help facilitate trade . . .
 
School Library Journal

This intriguing introduction to urban archaeology features cross-sections of the same location in an imaginary European city from the Stone Age to the 21st century. . . . daily life aboveground [is] fascinating . . . the subterranean realm is equally engaging. . . . Whether students flip through the pages quickly or painstakingly compare certain elements in the underground layers from one color cartoon illustration to the next, they will gain a deeper appreciation for the way human settlements change over time.

 
Booklist
[This] detail-rich picture book . . . [is] a winning format, and Kent knows how to provide the mini-dramas (a peasant being shoved by a nobleman into a stream in the sixteenth century becomes a skeleton buried beneath the stream in the seventeenth) that make it such a fun, flip back-and-forth experience.

School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—This intriguing introduction to urban archaeology features cross-sections of the same location in an imaginary European city from the Stone Age to the 21st century. Changes in daily life aboveground are fascinating, and what happens in the subterranean realm is equally engaging. As one civilization displaces another, skeletons, artifacts, and garbage form layer upon layer of an unwritten record. Kent supplies brief overviews of each era depicted for quick snapshots of history. In addition to glimpses of the same street in different centuries, spreads offer detailed depictions of a medieval silver mine, construction of the London Underground, and secret bunkers built during the Cold War. These interludes remind readers that past construction is evident beneath our feet and provide the materials studied by archaeologists. Whether students flip through the pages quickly or painstakingly compare certain elements in the underground layers from one color cartoon illustration to the next, they will gain a deeper appreciation for the way human settlements change over time. Anne Millard's A Street Through Time (DK, 1998) takes readers on another journey through urban history, although that volume lacks the underground and archaeological components of Kent's work.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Kirkus Reviews
In minutely detailed cross-sections, Kent traces the history of a generic European settlement from prehistoric times through the 21st century and beyond, to a speculative, pastoral distant future. It's all about layers; the pits and rubbish of Old Stone Age hunters are covered over with the turn of a page by a cluster of wooden Iron Age houses that are succeeded first by Ancient Roman stone buildings, then successive generations of increasingly modern homes and businesses. Interspersed with occasional side trips to catacombs or an old mine, the town's expansion into a city leaves the underlying layers jumbled but recognizable-even after ten millennia and humanity's disappearance return the surface to its original grassland. Linked by a few sentences of general commentary, the cross-sections invite lingering scrutiny; urban readers will certainly come away wondering what treasures and clues to the past might be hidden beneath their own feet. An annotated list of archeology websites extends the experience. (Informational picture book. 9-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753464007
  • Publisher: Kingfisher
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Author and illustrator Peter Kent has been producing books for children and adults for almost thirty years. His first book was a serious work of history: Fortifications of East Anglia, which is still in print today. He has written and illustrated nineteen children’s books, and illustrated over one hundred and thirty other children’s books. In fact, Peter thinks he has produced more than 12,000 individual artworks for his children’s books. As well as working as an author/illustrator, Peter still manages to find time for some teaching and lecturing

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