Once Upon a Playground: A Celebration of Classic American Playgrounds, 1920-1975

Once Upon a Playground: A Celebration of Classic American Playgrounds, 1920-1975


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611685121
Publisher: University Press of New England
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Pages: 188
Sales rank: 666,631
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

BRENDA BIONDO is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Denver Post, USA Weekend magazine, and many other publications. Her photography has been exhibited all over the country, and images from her playground series are in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. A native New Yorker, Biondo lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

SUSAN G. SOLOMON, a playground historian, is the author of The Science of Play: How to Build Playgrounds that Enhance Children’s Development (forthcoming, UPNE) and American Playgrounds: Revitalizing Community Space.

DARELL HAMMOND is the founder and CEO of KaBOOM! and coauthor of How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play.

A percentage of author royalties will be donated to KaBOOM! (kaboom.org), a national playground nonprofit.

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Susan G. Solomon
1920s & 1930s
1940s & 1950s
1960s & 1970s
Afterword, by Darell Hammond
Photo Locations
Historical Image Credits

What People are Saying About This

Peter Gray

“This book is a beautiful reminder of my own 1950s childhood and of a stretch of time when children played freely, with no adults hovering, in ways that built their hearts, muscles, coordination, creativity, emotional resilience, and social competence. The playground in every village and every city neighborhood was, for decades, the magnet that drew children together and cemented friendships. Thank you, Brenda Biondo, for these beautiful photographs, this walk down one path of American history, and this reminder that we need, now, to find modern ways of restoring children’s opportunities for exciting, self-directed, outdoor play with other children.”

Paige Johnson

“Once Upon a Playground is a treasure hunt for the playgrounds that time forgot.The spaces and apparatuses of play have much to teach us about who we were—and what childhood meant—in the long American mid-century. Brenda Biondo’s combination of period images from postcards, archives, and catalogs with her own, often-haunting, contemporary photographs admonishes us to learn from, to not forget, to preserve what remains of these unique landscapes of play.”

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