by Dr. Anne Millard and Steve Noon
Demonstrating the unfolding of history, panoramic views visiting a particular site every few centuries follow the evolution of a Stone Age riverside settlement into a twentieth-century city. A bold title and date with a few sentences describing significant changes appears in the upper-right-hand corner of each broad vertical scene. Added statements wind around the four borders, offering details about daily life of the period and inviting readers to search for significant activities among the many small vignettes in the larger view. Tiny figures busy at daily life offer an engaging chronicle of human experience over time as invaders and disease take their toll or more peaceful times bring prosperity and growth. The hypothetical street is in an unnamed European setting; Romans, Barbarians, Vikings, and the plague alter the fortunes of in-habitants. Some of the historical milestones represented by the fourteen segments are not so far apart, while long stretches of time separate others. It's a very telescopic view, compressing the rich complexities of history into a few glimpses, but there's plenty of human interest in the passing scene to keep readers poring over the shifting yet similar pursuits of people over time. The timeline construct is a useful demonstration for children, and the busy vistas would make a fine springboard for encouraging students to create scenes of local history.