The Mother of Modernism
and Three Boys

Thiis post is part of Nonfiction Monday hosted today
by Perogies & Gyoza

And joins It's Monday!
What are you reading?
(pub. 12.11.12) 32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Amy Novesky
       Illustrator: Lisa Congdon

C haracter: Imogen Cunningham

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "Flash forward. Imogen is a photographer and a mother. She has her hands full! How does she do it all?  She turns the garden into a wonderland for her three growing boys and a workshop for herself. While she works, her boys play, and Imogen photographs them. CLICK. CLICK. CLICK. Photographing her sons leads Imogen to focus on the plants and flowers - most notably her signature magnolia blossoms - for which she will become known."
T antalizing taste: 

       "CLICK. Freckled ears and feathered headdresses.
       Glowing birthday cakes. Her three growing boys.
       She photographed her bespectacled father. Her
mother with a crown of silver spoons.
       Imogen found a little beauty in everything."
and something more: Last Monday, November 12th, was Imogen Cunningham Day in San Francisco. I was thrilled to attend the book launch party that day for IMOGEN -The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys at a wonderful indie bookstore, Books Inc., in San Francisco.  My writer friend, Amy Novesky, gave a wonderful presentation and shared intriguing anecdotes about Imogen, including meeting one of Imogen's sons, now in his 90s, who also became a photographer. And even the publisher told about a personal connection to Imogen. The founder, Robert Cameron (photographer and publisher of the ABOVE books), actually owned an Imogen photograph.
          My favorite page of the book reads: "And for one hour every afternoon, while the boys napped, Imogen focused on her flowers, including a common magnolia blossom she shot close up." The lovely close-up illustration of Imogen with her camera focused on a blossom echoes the lyrical text.
          The Author's Note includes an inspiring quote from Imogen:

"You can't expect things to be smooth and easy and beautiful. You just have to work, find your way out, and do anything you can yourself."


amy said...

Thanks, Jeanne!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

You're most welcome, Amy!

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Oh wow, Jeanne, this sure sounds like another keeper. I am always inspired to look for more astounding picture book biographies whenever I visit your site. Hope you're having a grand Thanksgiving! :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks Myra! And I love stopping by GatheringBooks -- you offer so much great reading material!

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

I love the illustrator's note that you shared - what a different perspective, and a challenge he was able to meet so well. How lucky for you to be able to attend this book launch, Jeanne! I love learning about the research process, especially when the writer clearly so enjoyed the process. Thanks for sharing these treasures today.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Tara. Yes! I love book launches -- such a time of joy and accomplishment.