Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee!
Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee is an inspiring picture book about James Van Der Zee’s life in photography. When James was little, he liked to paint, play the violin, and draw. Problem was, when he drew he couldn’t get the person’s feelings on paper the right way. The day came that his family got their picture taken by a real photographer, and James thought that that was the perfect way to capture personality in a photo. Then he heard about a competition with a camera as the prize, and he worked toward it for several months and eventually won! Unfortunately, the equipment came broken. James worked for weeks again and bought a second one. He took lots of pictures of everyone in his town of Lennox, Massachusetts and eventually worked his way up as an assistant in a photoshop. After a few more years, he could open his own shop, and it did great for a very long time.
I liked this book a lot because I can relate to James because I love taking pictures as well. I also loved the short in the afterword about his life with a bit more detail, like how his parents were the former butler and maid for President Ulysses S. Grant. I would recommend this fantastic read-a-loud to ages seven and up!
Lee & Low Books
Andrea J. Loney • Keith Mallett, Illustrator