Monday, June 22, 2015

The New Earth From Above: 365 Days by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

This rectangular pictorial seeks to bring immediate attention to the plight of the earth and its peoples through 365 fascinating and gorgeous aerial photographs of a wide variety of ecosystems around the world.  Originally presented as an international travelling photo exhibition, this dense volume shrinks the exhibition into a compact, portable portal for readers everywhere.

The New Earth is broken into twelve chapters corresponding to the twelve months of the year, and each chapter begins with a three-page essay by a different French author.  These contributors cover topics like climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, abolishing poverty, and fair trade.  Students will be interested in seeing a garden greening a desert, olive groves, rice fields and frozen forests.  Each full-page photograph is accompanied by one paragraph of text explaining the image  and connecting it to the environmental and/or social context and threats alluded to in the visual.  The text is supplemented by a map detail with a “you are here” marker, providing geographical context, as well as the latitude and longitude address for the location.  Social Studies teachers planning lessons on map skills or preparing students for initial phases of inquiry brainstorming may find this book to be of use.  This text will likely appeal to browsers and reluctant readers.  Backmatter contains an index of countries, acknowledgements, and an overview of  --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Arthus-Bertrand, Yann.  The New Earth From Above 365 Days.  New York: Abrams, 2009.

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