Self Portrait by George Ancona
I love the fact that George is so dedicated to his pictures. He even took all of the pictures for this book -- using a tripod and a camera with a timer so he would have time to pose. It was very neat to see into his studio and to see how he keeps himself organized when planning and writing a book. The most significant message in George's story, though, is that you need to love what you do. He actually quit his job (designing magazines, ads, and TV films) to become a photographer. This book will surely be an inspiration to the children who love his work.
Before It Wriggles Away by Janet S. Wong
Janet readily admits that she didn't like books or reading when she was growing up. A strange admission from an author. Even stranger, however, is that she hated poetry -- and then went on to become a prolific poet. Janet had a very normal childhood; she never thought that her life would be exciting or worthy enough to write about. After becoming a lawyer, she found that she was bored with her job and didn't care as much about money as being happy. She decided to become an author, went back to school, and fell in love with writing. Through her hard work and dedication, Janet became a published author -- and now she loves her job.
Whole Days Outdoors: An Autobiographical Album by Jim Arnosky
One of my favorite things about Jim is his honesty about having a short attention span. With so many kids getting diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, it's refreshing to see an example of how a short attention span can be a positive thing! Jim may not finish a painting in one sitting, but he manages to find the time for both work and play -- while staying physically fit. Definitely a fun book for kids who love animals and the great outdoors -- and, of course, Jim Arnosky's books.