Dorothea Lange

Carole Boston Weatherford did it again in her biographic picture book Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression. Albert Whitman & Company published this picture book in 2017. The mostly grayscale illustrations are by Sarah Green.

51h8i2ykwol-_sx405_bo1204203200_Weatherford’s text mostly describes factual events along the plotline of Lange’s life. But it certainly isn’t boring. The text highlights the events, places and people most pertinent to Lange’s story of creatively reinventing herself.  Details of her life are documented in the back matter.

I found the grayscale media an appropriate reflection of Lange’s black-and-white photographs of Americans who were dramatically affected by the Great Depression-the “less than fortunate” people as Weatherford calls them in the back matter.

Lange’s empathetic photographs brought national attention to the poverty and injustice of the Great Depression era.

I think young readers might find inspiration in Lange’s decision to change her life’s focus from doing a job that catered to the wealthier Americans, to following a career that made a difference in our American culture during that era.

Again, I think elementary school teachers will find Dorothea Lange especially useful when tied to American history and social studies.


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