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9780887768811_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
1 rating
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list price: $19.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Aug 2009
ISBN:9780887768811
publisher: Tundra

It's a Snap!

George Eastman's First Photo

by Monica Kulling, illustrated by Bill Slavin

reviews: 2
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Aug 2009
ISBN:9780887768811
publisher: Tundra
Description

In 1877 in Rochester, New York, George Eastman couldn’t understand why picture-taking was so difficult. Having left school at fourteen to support his mother and two sisters, George decided to find out by making photography his hobby. He packed up glass plates, a plate holder, a tent, a heavy tripod, a thick piece of black cloth, a water jug, and chemicals and set off to take his first photograph.

George realized that not many people could own a camera — they were too expensive and the size of today’s microwave ovens! But how could he make picture-taking easier? Eventually, George created dry plates, and they were such a success that he opened his own dry-plate company in 1881. But this was only the beginning — George went on to invent film and the Brownie camera. The rest is history.

Monica Kulling’s spunky, playful text is beautifully complemented by the stunning pen-and-ink with watercolor illustrations of artist Bill Slavin. It’s a Snap! George Eastman’s First Photo introduces a new series for Tundra — the Great Idea Series — a must-have for schools, libraries, and parents alike.

About the Authors

Monica Kulling is the author of over fifty books for children, including Dr. Jo: How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America’s Children, illustrated by Julianna Swaney, and On Our Way to Oyster Bay: Mother Jones and Her March for Children’s Rights, illustrated by Felicita Sala. She has also written the popular Great Idea series, and her work has been nominated for many awards, including numerous Silver Birch Express and Golden Oak awards. Monica Kulling lives in Toronto.

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BILL SLAVIN is a celebrated illustrator who lives in Millbrook Ontario. He has illustrated over 40 books for children, including The Cat Came Back.
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Contributor Notes

Monica Kulling was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. She received a BA in creative writing from the University of Victoria. Monica Kulling has published twenty-six fiction and nonfiction books for children, including picture books, poetry, and biographies. She is best known for introducing biography to children just learning to read and has written about Harriet Tubman, Houdini, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Amelia Earhart among others. Monica Kulling lives in Toronto, Canada.

Bill Slavin has illustrated over seventy books for children, including The Big Book of Canada by Christopher Moore. He has won the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award, the Blue Spruce Award, and the Zena Sutherland Award for Children’s Literature, among many others. Bill Slavin lives in Millbrook, Ontario.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
5 to 8
Grade:
k to 3
Editorial Review

“[This] book will entertain and inform readers . . .This is terrific storytelling.” 
School Library Journal
“. . . a great way to introduce children to the wonders of photography.” 
Shutterbug Magazine

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

It’s a Snap! George Eastman’s First Photograph (Great Idea)

It’s A Snap! George Eastman’s First Photograph is an inspirational biographic introduction to George Eastman’s fantastic adventures in photography. While students nowadays hardly refer to digital images as snapshots, they soon learn just why the moniker was indicative of the process years ago.

Monica Kulling prefaces the biography with a short poem called “Making History” which brilliantly assesses the value of pictures. This same theme is followed throughout the book as the reader watches George recording life: “When George traveled, he took pictures. When George stayed at home, he took pictures.”

Allowing young children to understand the idea of a biography being the story of a person’s life is one way of helping to establish the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Why did George want to change the way people took photos? How did he accomplish his mission? What was the timeline for changing the way people could take pictures? Good books make for good questions and children love to ask them. Bravo, Monica Kulling!

Bill Slavin’s watercolour and ink illustrations easily allow the reader to travel back in time. The fashions of the late nineteenth century depict the lifestyle of the characters George meets. Especially wonderful is his double-page spread in a “golden goose-like” scenario whereby the grocer, the baker, the blacksmith, the cobbler, and half a dozen others follow the fascinating idea of having their picture taken. The sepia-coloured photos illustrating George’s early pictures portray turn of the century locations. The poster on the inside of the book’s jacket (a clever way to introduce a book talk on biography) reads: “A splendid introduction to the amazing man who had so much to do with putting picture-taking within reach of us all.” Digital, computer-generated, cell phone, ipod images follow our daily actions… could George Eastman have envisioned the revolution he started?

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2010. Vol.33 No.1.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

It’s a Snap! George Eastman’s First Photograph (Great Ideas)

Say cheese! Photography wouldn’t be what it is today if it hadn’t been for American, George Eastman (1854- 1932). Known as the father of popular photography, he brought this visual art form to masses of amateur shutterbugs with his inventions of flexible roll film, the Kodak camera of 1888, and the $1 Brownie camera of 1900.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

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