Dorothea's eyes Dorothea Lange photographs the truth

Barb Rosenstock

Book - 2016

An introduction to the life and achievements of the documentary photographer describes the disability that inspired Lange's photography career and her efforts to raise awareness about the unseen victims of the Great Depression.

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Picture books
Honesdale, Pennsylvania : Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights [2016]
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Main Author
Barb Rosenstock (author)
Other Authors
Gérard Dubois, 1968- (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Review

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. When Dorothea was seven, she contracted polio, and her forever-withered leg caused kids to call her Limpy. Feeling invisible, she learned to be watchful and curious, seeing with her eyes and her heart. Dorothea's love of faces led her to take up photography as an adult, a very unladylike profession in 1914. Her focus on the poor led to her documentation of humanity's suffering during the Great Depression. In seeing and recording the people the world ignored, Dorothea helped others see with their hearts and created a lasting portrayal of events in U.S. history. Softly outlined pastel images create spacious and simple vivid pictures of her family and the many people she encountered. At book's end, iconic photographs by Lange show the breadth of her moving portraits. Back matter, in addition to an informative time line, gives more information about her life.--Gepson, Lolly Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

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 PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by School Library Journal Review

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. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

This brief, illustrated biography explores how the life of pioneering photojournalist Dorothea Lange influenced her art. Although the oil-pastel depictions of human bodies are at times distractingly awkward, the mostly autumnal palette complements the text as it teaches about its subject's (called Dorothea throughout) difficulties: polio, poverty, paternal desertion, and eventually, a family opposed to her "unladylike" choice of profession. After an excellent red-and-black spread depicting Dorothea's darkroom, the returning tawny colors work equally well to conjure the Great Depression. Throughout, boldly red-inked sentences suggest what apparently drove Dorothea from her lucrative, private portrait practice to become the sole woman on FDR's team of documentary photographers: "Dorothea sees with her eyes and her heart," and "Her heart knows all about people the world ignores." Interestingly, the text introduces the idea of "invisibility" as a photographer's asset. It also stresses Dorothea's perseverance despite her "forever-withered leg" and makes a clear, egalitarian stand about her subjects: "They are good people in real trouble." Backmatter reproductions of Lange's photographs greatly enhance the story. An excellent beginner's resource for biography, U.S. history, and women's studies. (author's note, bibliography, resources, timeline) (Picture book/biography. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.