The Bay Area through Time

Hardcover, 10 x 8,
32 pages, with full-color
illustrations throughout.
ISBN: 9781597143011.


By Laura Cunningham

This new picture book takes readers on a one-of-a-kind tour of the Bay Area. Each turn of the page ventures further and further back in time: from a mere three hundred years ago, not long after the arrival of the first European explorers, to when Columbian mammoths lumbered about waterfall-ringed meadows (40,000 years ago); to when saber-toothed cats pounced on three-toed horses (10 million years ago); to when dinosaurs foraged for food on golden, sandy beaches (80 million years ago); and finally to 400 million years ago, when today’s San Francisco Bay was a watery realm dominated by bizarre invertebrates. Fun and fastidiously researched facts about each era’s animals and plants enhance the full-color spreads by A State of Change artist Laura Cunningham. After finishing The Bay Area through Time, readers of all ages will wonder which form the bay will take next.


Photo by Kevin Emmerich

Laura Cunningham, an artist and naturalist, studied paleontology and biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked at various field biology jobs for the California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other organizations, getting to know such species as the Owens Valley pupfish, the southern California steelhead trout, the Yosemite toad, and the Panamint alligator lizard. Simultaneously, she has been studying and painting California’s historic and living wildlife, flora, and unique landscapes. She lives near Death Valley National Park, where she cofounded the group Basin and Range Watch to explore the historical ecology of the desert ecosystems of California and Nevada, and to protect them. Visit her blog at