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Poems to SolveJuan Bobo and the PigThe Ancestor TreePaco and the WitchThose Calculating CrowsBilly and EmmaElizabeti's DollWho's In the HallMama ElizabetiA Safe Place Called HomeElizabeti's SchoolIt Rainded All Day That NightYou're Not My Real MotherAfrican American Read-AloudSky DancerscookbookGuess AgainphphDreaming_Up_cvr
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cover NOguchi book

Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, A Life in Nature
by Cindy Jenson-Elliott illustrated by Christy Hale
(Christy Ottaviano Books/Holt, 2016)
Buy this book
As a child, Ansel Adams just couldn't sit still. He felt trapped indoors and never walked anywhere—he ran. Even when he sat, his feet danced. But in nature, Ansel felt right at home. He fell in love with the gusting gales of the Golden Gate, the quiet whisper of Lobos Creek, the icy white of Yosemite Valley, and countless other remarkable natural sights. From his early days in San Francisco to the height of his glory nationwide, this book chronicles a restless boy's path to becoming an iconic nature photographer.
awards • reviews

• 2017 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award
• Bank Street College Best of 2016

“In an era of hyper-medication for hyper kids, Ansel Adams is a role model for hyper kids. This fine book tells the true story of how one boy who couldn’t sit still found his joy and his calling outdoors in the natural world. Mountains, streams and backyards aren’t a panacea, but for many kids, they can make all the difference. How any other children, like antsy Ansel, might give us great gifts in the future, if we give them the gift of nature today?”
—Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder” and “Vitamin N"

Hale’s collages, a mix of traditional and digital techniques in an earthy palette, make excellent use of textures in depicting the natural world. Orientation and design elements, too, are thoughtfully employed; a vertical spread of Adams hiking the High Sierra, for example, captures its “icy white” and “breathless height” marvelously. An author’s note, with appended resources, further discusses the man’s life and legacy as well as showing two photographs that exemplify Adams’s artistic range (Clearing Winter Storm and Leaves, Mills College). —Horn Book

The story flows well, varying from brief, informative statements to high-toned pronouncements to impressionistic language. Like the text, the handsome digital-collage illustrations course evenly through Adams’ childhood and teen years. . . An interesting addition to biography collections." —Booklist

Using vibrant, exclamatory language, Jenson-Elliot paints a picture of a young Ansel Adams as a boy “on fire for learning,” captivated by nature from an early age and always on the move. . . While Adams (1902–1984) mostly photographed nature in black and white, Hale goes straight for purple mountain majesties in her subtly textured collages, which include several vertically oriented spreads that allow her to fully reflect the height of sequoia trees or Yosemite’s High Sierra. An inspiring account of one man’s lifelong love affair with the great outdoors." —Publishers Weekly

"Jenson-Elliott’s lyrical text uses typography to reflect the photographer’s buoyant spirit. The visuals are a perfect complement to the text . . . An excellent introductory biography to inspire elementary students to look at art and the outdoors in a different way."School Library Journal

"Hyper kids rejoice: One of your own comes into his own in this lyrical picture biography about the famous nature photographer. It all begins in San Francisco, where, lucky for the rambunctious Ansel, his father ignores expert advice to “keep him calm” or “give him discipline,” instead opting for French, Greek, algebra and piano lessons at home and a season pass to the city’s 1915 World’s Fair. At 14, Ansel makes his first trip to Yosemite and gets a camera as a gift. His future is sealed. Cezanne-like collage art by a Palo Alto illustrator is infused with admiration to chronicle Adams’personal and professional life. Two pages are laid out on the vertical to emphasize the grandeur of Half Dome, a sequoia and the power of his images to extol America’s beautiful landscapes and speak to their preservation." —San Francisco Chronicle
look inside
GGHeadlandsAnsel playing in the Golden Gate Headlands
AnselValleyView Ansel's first trip to Yosemite
AnselHalfDome Ansel Climbs Half Dome
GeneralSherman The General Sherman tree In Kings Canyon National Park