Book review: Ansty Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature, by Cindy Jenson-Elliott, illustrated by Christy Hale

Jenson-Elliott, Cindy. Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature. Ill. Christy Hale. Christy Ottaviano/Holt, 2016. $17.99. unp. ISBN 978-1-62779-082-6. Ages 5-8. P6Q7

jenson-antsy-anselThis introduction to the noted nature photographer of the twentieth century shows his hyper-active childhood channeled by his parents who let him explore his world of northern California and home-schooled the sometimes unhealthy boy. Their gift of a camera while visiting Yosemite drew the boy into his future career that combined with his love for the outdoors. Exuberant language matches his delight in his surroundings, and the final few page briefly cover his marriage and his commission to document national parks. Mixed-media collages blend digital and traditional techniques that show Hale’s impression of his surroundings. Included are a one-page biographical note, bibliography of adult resources, and websites.

Verdict: The almost slap-dash style of art is at odds with Adams’ precise, careful photography, and the language seems to go overboard in its attempt to create the excitement of Adams enthusiasm for his vocation. This flaws leave room for another picture book about Adams.

January 2017 review by Nel Ward.

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