These days, my seven year-old son is grappling with the concept of relative measurements. Whether a building is 100 feet tall or 1000 feet tall. Whether the visible growth of a tree takes 10 days or 10 years. Etcetera.
We got to chatting about how our lives would look in 1000 years.
Him: I’ll be dead, right?
Him: But our house will still be here?
Me: In 1000 years? I don’t think so. In 100 years, probably. Our house is already 77 years old and it looks just fine.
Him: Will Portland be here?
Then I remembered a book he got for his birthday from a very smart parent: A Street Through Time. The book is a DK illustrated guide to 12,000 years of human life in a single location: how it changes from the Stone Age (10,000 BC) to today. Fascinating doesn’t even begin to cover it. The changes in the landscape, technology, lifestyle, architecture, and social structure are all there to explore. The illustrations are incredibly detailed, with humorous looks at misbehaving children and outdoor toilets, but are also graphic enough to portray Viking invasion, the Black Death, and class stratification. There’s enough material to keep us talking for weeks.