Dorothea's Eyes: Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth

by Barb Rosenstock (Author) Gerard DuBois (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
"An excellent beginner's resource for biography, U.S. history, and women's studies." -- Kirkus Reviews Here is the powerful and inspiring biography of Dorothea Lange, one of the founders of documentary photography. After a childhood bout of polio left her with a limp, all Dorothea Lange wanted to do was disappear. But her desire not to be seen helped her learn how to blend into the background and observe. With a passion for the artistic life, and in spite of her family's disapproval, Lange pursued her dream to become a photographer and focused her lens on the previously unseen victims of the Great Depression. This poetic biography tells the emotional story of Lange's life and includes a gallery of her photographs, an author's note, a timeline, and a bibliography.

Publishers Weekly

Rosenstock lyrically describes photographer Dorothea Lange's creative development from a polio-stricken child from Hoboken to the photographer behind some of the nation's most iconic images. As a child, Lange was teased and rejected by her peers for her limp, yet the very invisibility she feels becomes an asset as she learns to see "with her eyes and her heart." As Lange grew older, she began taking photographs, eventually discovering her interest in capturing portraits of the impoverished and needy during the Great Depression: "Dorothea's eyes won't let the country look away." DuBois gives his figures the pale skin and fixed postures of bisque dolls; a gauzy darkroom scene, lit in glaring red, reads like a moment of epiphany. Several of Lange's photographs, including her famous "Migrant Mother" image, appear in a detailed closing section. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. Illustrator's agency: Marlena Agency. (Mar.)

Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5—This biography of celebrated photographer Dorothea Lange (best known for the iconic Migrant Mother) has a clear, consistent message: Lange's photographs are unique because they depict "people the world ignores" with both truth and love, allowing viewers to see the world with their eyes and hearts. The author chronicles the evolution of Lange's approach. An enthusiastic, curious observer who often felt invisible to others, Lange decided as a young woman to embark on a career as a photographer. She opened a successful portrait studio but ultimately was compelled to take to the streets to document the impact of the Great Depression on the poor. Lange later traveled the back roads and less familiar places, chronicling the lives of people during hard times. Despite her physical problems due to childhood polio, she traveled to 22 states, capturing the poverty of the homeless, jobless, and hungry. Lange's photographs, published in newspapers and magazines, convinced the government of the need for assistance. Statements in bold red print found throughout the text explain the growth of Lange's caring and truthful approach, while descriptive words written in gray print highlight the feelings Lange had that caused her to stand apart from others as a sympathetic observer: "Different. Watchful. Curious." DuBois employs a muted palette, and the striking illustrations have a faded look that complements the setting and mood. End matter includes an author's note and reprints of several of Lange's photographs. VERDICT A solid introduction to one of America's most celebrated photographers.—Myra Zarnowski, City University of New York

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

This brief, illustrated biography explores how the life of pioneering photojournalist Dorothea Lange influenced her art.... the mostly autumnal palette complements the text as it teaches ... tawny colors work equally well to conjure the Great Depression.... An excellent beginner's resource for biography, U.S. history, and women's studies. — Kirkus Reviews

This biography of celebrated photographer Dorothea Lange (best known for the iconic Migrant Mother) has a clear, consistent message... Lange's photographs are unique because they depict 'people the world ignores' with both truth and love, allowing viewers to see the world with their eyes and hearts...DuBois employs a muted palette, and the striking illustrations have a faded look that complements the setting and mood....A solid introduction to one of America's most celebrated photographers. —School Library Journal

Rosenstock lyrically describes photographer Dorothea Lange's creative development from a polio-stricken child from Hoboken to the photographer behind some of the nation's most iconic images. —Publishers Weekly

An oversize portrait of those titular grey-green eyes introduce Dorothea's special talent at seeing details in objects and faces that others might miss....Softly outlined pastel images create spacious and simple vivid pictures... —Booklist
Barb Rosenstock
BARB ROSENSTOCK is the author of the Caldecott Honor Book The Noisy Paint Box; Vincent Can't Sleep; Through the Window; and Mornings with Monet, all also illustrated by Mary GrandPré, as well as many other books. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband, sons, and two big poodles. Visit her at BarbRosenstock.com.

ERIKA MEZA is the illustrator of Salsa Lullaby by Jen Arena. She was born in Morelia, in the Mexican state where monarch butterflies go for the winter. She grew up in awe of the phenomenon, and carried the image of the butterfly as a piece of home when she moved to Paris to follow her dream of becoming an author and illustrator. Her themes are born out of the exploration of her migrant essence, her bittersweet relationship with change, and her attachment to innocence and curiosity. She now lives in London. Learn more about Erika at ErikaMeza.com or on Twitter at @ErikaDraws.
Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9781629792088
Lexile Measure
580L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
Calkins Creek Books
Publication date
March 20, 2016
Series
-

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