Annal: 2004 Orbis Pictus Award

Results of the Orbis Pictus Award in the year 2004.

Book:An American Plague

An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793

Jim Murphy

1793, Philadelphia. The nation’s capital and the largest city in North America is devastated by an apparently incurable disease, cause unknown…

In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the city”s residents, relating the epidemic to the major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia”s free blacks in combating the disease, and the Constitutional crisis that President Washington faced when he was forced to leave the city—and all his papers—while escaping the deadly contagion. The search for the fever”s causes and cure, not found for more than a century afterward, provides a suspenseful counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege. …[more]

Book:Empire State Building

Empire State Building: When New York Reached for the Skies

Elizabeth Mann, Alan Witschonke

From start to finish, Mann tracks the wonders of architecture, engineering, and construction that went into the creation of the tallest building in the world for the time. Fascinating profiles describe the individuals who dreamed of and built this architectural marvel. Archival photographs recreate the heady world of the steelworkers out on the girders, high above the city streets.

Book:In Defense of Liberty

In Defense of Liberty: The Story of America's Bill of Rights

Russell Freedman

When the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution, they knew it was not perfect. They were concerned their government might be too powerful and not respect the rights of its citizens. So at the first session of the United States Congress in 1789, they voted on a set of ten amendments, aimed to preserve and protect the rights and liberties of all citizens. These ten amendments comprise the Bill of Rights. As our country has grown, American citizens have continued to rely on this landmark document as a means to defend the liberties of all, across boundaries of race and gender, age and class, religion and ethics. Focusing on examples of ordinary citizens who have had the courage to challenge their government and raise their voices at injustice, Russell Freedman's compelling text is essential reading for every American.

Book:Leonardo, Beautiful Dreamer

Leonardo, Beautiful Dreamer

Robert Byrd

Famous in his time as a painter, prankster, and philosopher, Leonardo da Vinci was also a musician, sculptor, and engineer for dukes, popes, and kings. What remains of his work - from futuristic designs and scientific inquiry to artwork of ethereal beauty - reveals the ambitious, unpredictable brilliance of a visionary, and a timeless dreamer.

Robert Byrd celebrates this passionate, playful genius in a glowing picture book replete with the richness and imagination of Leonardo’s own notebooks. Twenty lavish spreads, including side drawings, supplemental texts, and quotes from Leonardo’s writings, highlight distinct periods and make the master’s art, jokes, explorations, and inventions wonderfully vivid and accessible. A striking tribute to an irrepressible mind and to the potential within all who are curious.

Book:The Man Who Made Time Travel

The Man Who Made Time Travel

Kathryn Lasky, Kevin Hawkes

Who would solve one of the most perplexing scientific problems of all time?

This dramatic picture-book biography brings to life — with illustrations that glow with wit and inspiration — the fascinating story of the quest to measure longitude. While the scientific establishment of the eighteenth century was certain that the answer lay in mapping the heavens, John Harrison, an obscure, uneducated clockmaker, dared to imagine a different solution: a seafaring clock. How Harrison held fast to his vision and dedicated his life to the creation of a small jewel of a timepiece that would change the world is a compelling story — as well as a memorable piece of history, science, and biography.

Book:Shutting Out the Sky

Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York, 1880-1924

Deborah Hopkinson

Acclaimed author Hopkinson recounts the lives of five immigrants to New York’s Lower East Side through oral histories and engaging narrative. We hear Romanian-born Marcus Ravage’s disappointment when his aunt pushes him outside to peddle chocolates on the street. And about the pickle cart lady who stored her pickles in a rat-infested basement. We read Rose Cohen’s terrifying account of living through the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, and of Pauline Newman’s struggles to learn English. But through it all, each one of these kids keeps working, keeps hoping, to achieve their own American dream.

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