"Kalman supplements the mostly black-and-white, anonymous, amateur snapshots with colorful paintings inspired by the photographs. Handler adds alternately wry, pithy, poignant--and always succinct--commentary to most spreads, inviting readers to ponder the people and scenes as well as their own family photos."
--Booklist "Handler provides free verse that is both spare and sparse throughout the collection, contextualizing the thematic groupings and offering imaginative insight into what might have motivated the preservation of such frozen moments. The project is interesting and the images thought provoking."
--The Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books
- ISBN-13: 9780870709081
- ISBN-10: 0870709089
- Publisher: Museum of Modern Art
- Publish Date: May 2014
- Page Count: 64
- Reading Level: Ages 10-UP
- Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.6 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-02-24
- Reviewer: Staff
Handler and Kalman (Why We Broke Up) explore photographs held by the Museum of Modern Art, a selection of mostly b&w vintage snapshots of young women posing on lawns. The girls look decorative, awkward, sometimes grim (like the woman in the grass skirt in front of bare winter trees), sometimes hilarious (a pair of fashionably shod legs stick out of a hedge). Handler’s commentary wanders between the voices of the subjects (“My whole life I have not known where to put my hands”) and that of a wise, older-brotherish commentator (“You don’t have to be self-conscious. We’re all fools”). Kalman contributes her own inimitable paintings: a girl in a dance costume flanked by two terriers, a jaunty woman perched on a gate. Handler captures the essential paradox of the photograph as historical record: “None of this is there, not anymore. And yet we are still standing.” There’s a marked insider/outsider feel to the project, first in a planned collaborative series between Handler, Kalman, and the museum; those familiar with the Handler/Kalman sensibility will be delighted, while those not in the know may find it baffling. Ages 10–up. (May)