Special thanks to George Ancona for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden
“as a photographer, I can participate in other people’s lives…producing something that can be shared and has a life of its own” – George Ancona, from George’s Homepage
George’s Homepage: http://www.georgeancona.com
#1 – What was the impetus for It’s Our Garden?
I think the impetus was reading about Michelle Obama and the girls starting a garden in in White House grounds. I thought that was a great idea and began to find that some schools were doing the same thing. I started to look around here and found the Acequi Madre School garden. It was like a little paradise.
#2 – Who is the audience for this book? Kids? Educators? Gardeners?
All my books are focused on kids. I like to think that opening a book of my photographs is like opening the door to a particular place in the world.
#3 – The book takes place over the course of a year. What were you looking for in the photos you were taking and how the garden changed over the year?
I learned early in life what Picasso said, and I adopted it: “I do not search, I find”. I discovered that if I’m looking for a specific things I would pass by some wonderful things. So I would go to the garden two or three times a week, sit on a straw bale and watch what the kids were doing. I became the resident grandpa or Abuelito. Then I would begin to shoot pictures. No preconceived ideas.
#4 – What has the response to the book been? By kids? Adults?
The response was way beyond my expectations. It was chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science as the best Children’s Book of the Year. Also just chosen for Booklist’s Top Ten Books on Sustainability for Youth. And good responses by kids and parents here in town.
#5 – Are you working on any new projects/books that you can tell us about?
So I’m doing another book now on how kids volunteer to help their communities. What I’m seeing and photographing is very moving.
[Image Credit: http://lookingglassreview.com/assets/images/George_Ancona.jpg ]