Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What is it for? by Henry Humphrey (1969)

I love books written for city kids. What is it For? is photographer Henry Humphrey's effort to highlight and explain the functions of those various elements of a city's infrastructure that a kid might have questions about; he picks the sort of things most adults walk past every day without thinking about, and his explanations might even illuminate their uses to more than a few of us. He wrote several such children's books, and this one was selected by the New York Times as a top illustrated book in 1969. Mr. Humphrey died last fall, and I found this great picture of him in an online obituary:

I love the examples like this that you still see in cities but might not be used so much anymore; vestiges of an earlier time.
Look at this &%$#ing hipster.