Sunday, March 28, 2021

More Reading Month!

Time for another technology detour!

As a bibliophile, I have so many books in my collection it's almost embarrassing.  Maybe it won't be as embarrassing when I finally have my "library" organized and "open" in my basement, but for now... yeah.  There's a lot of books down there.  And each of them was specifically chosen, too.

I have so many favorite authors, series, books... but if when I narrow things down, there are two at the top of my list.  Gyo Fujikawa and Jill Krementz.  They are about as different as you can be.

If the name rings a bell, it might be because her husband was a rather famous author, too.  You may have heard of Kurt Vonnegut?  Jill Krementz's books are totally opposite of her husbands.

My first introduction to Jill Krementz came in the form of A Very Young Rider.  It still holds as my all time favorite children's equestrian book.  The book is a "year in the life" of 9-year-old Vivi Malloy.  It is filled with black and white photos of daily life as a pony rider.  Everything from dealing with the vet, to packing for horse shows are shown in vivid imagery, along with narration that made me wish I grew up in Vivi's world.

Jill Krementz began her career as a photo journalist, photographing life in the 1960s, including the March on the Pentagon in 1967, and the Vietnam War.  Not sure how she moved from there to chronicling the life and passions of children! 

In addition to her A Very Young Series (my favorites!) she also has a series called How it Feels where she interviewed children on a variety of more serious topics, including living with a physical disability, and dealing with parental divorce.  (I used to lend this book out to students - with parental permission - at least once a year.)  These books give young readers a glimpse into the lives of others who may be dealing with the same things they are.  

Though her books are all more than 25 years old, the lessons are still so relevant, the photographs still so inspiring, and the stories still so enjoyable.  Jill Krementz showed me that non-fiction can be just as mesmerizing as fiction.  I proudly have her entire Very Young series, and her entire How it Feels series, and even her coffee table book, The Jewish Writer, in addition to most of her Tough Enough board books, some of the earliest photography illustrated books for toddlers!


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