Wednesday, December 09, 2009

live, laugh, celebrate

live, laugh, celebrate
by Ferdinand Protzman
National Geographic, 2009
304 pages, 3.51 lbs.
review copy provided by the publisher

This is a book about life, and joy, and celebration around the world.
"Humankind just cannot resist a celebration -- whoever we are and wherever on Earth we may be, someone has a reason to cheer..."
Picture after picture, page after page, we see that people around the world are not so very different from us in the urge to celebrate births, weddings, new homes, new leaders, religious events, graduations, parades. Picture after picture, page after page, we see that even though the urge or event is similar, the way it is celebrated is as diverse as the people who celebrate.

Here is a sample:

This would be a great book to give as a gift, and a great book to put on your coffee table.

I'm thinking it will also be a great book to have out for my 4th grade classroom right now.

My students are beginning work on multimedia multi-genre projects that are based on a literary theme each of them has chosen from a big list we've created from reading fables and other theme-rich stories (friendship, family, perseverance, use of power, etc.) and this book provides a way for me to show them how this author gathered images on the theme of celebration.
  • We can study the way he organized his images, and study the essays he includes at the beginning of each section of the book (Cycles of Life, Around the World, Life of the Party).
  • We can look at the way each photograph is attributed to the photographer with information about the city, country, photographer and year, along with a short descriptive caption.
  • And we can study the photographs themselves, identifying the ones that speak most strongly to us and figuring out what the photographer did with light and composition (and sometimes luck) to capture the moment in a way that makes us want to look, and look again.
This will be a great mentor text for our theme project, and a fabulous look at celebrations around the world!


  1. This sounds like a terrific book, and a great tool for classroom teachers. Check out FAITH by the Global Children's Fund. It's a photo essay of different faiths all around the world, and sounds really similar to this one.

  2. I would love to hear more about your multigenre multimedia project. It sounds like something I'd like to replicate in my fifth grade classroom here in snowy NY.

  3. Carol, I'll look for that one!

    michellechristine, stay tuned -- I plan to describe and reflect on our theme project soon!

  4. I like this idea. I am working on some classroom activities that use photography. This sounds like a good one. Thanks for posting.


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