The Victorian Home.
Bobbie Kalman. Illustrated by Barbara Bedell.
Grades 2 - 8 / Ages 7 - 13.
The Victorian Home is part of the Historical Communities series which illustrates life in the Western world over the past three hundred years. Topics are wide-ranging, evident in titles such as: Colonial Crafts; 19th Century Clothing; Games From Long Ago; Tools and Gadgets; A One Room School; and many others.
The Victorian Home is a large-format book with clear and colourful illustrations and photographs. These are combined with short paragraphs that describe the construction of the homes; the function of the rooms; and unique features such as dumb-waiters, pie safes, chamber pots, trundle beds, and the scullery.
The author has created an interesting and easy-to-read text that poses questions and invites further discussion or research. There are so many aspects of home life that are written about in the book, that readers will be caught up in a continual search for new and different clues to life in the nineteenth century.
The Victorian era was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, but did not have amenities such as electricity, so the similarities and comparisons to our life-style today are natural. For instance, the author points out that "the Victorian homes did not have running water, so when the kitchen stove was being used for cooking, the scullery stove heated water for filling bathtubs and washing dishes. Laundry was also boiled on the scullery stove."
This book is ideal for elementary-aged students because of its vocabulary building, its respect for historical fact, and its colourful presentation.
Gary Robertson is a former Secondary School Fine Arts Instructor, and is both a practising artist and musician in Regina.
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Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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