Book Reviews

One of the joys of working in a library is getting to see all the new materials come in. And one of my friends at work brought this lovely book to my attention. Thank you, Mariya! 

Dear Photograph by Taylor Jones, based on his popular Tumblr blog, is a fabulous collection of photographs taken at the original scene of older sentimental photos. Submissions include families on porches, historic moments (such as snapshot from the sidelines of Kennedy campaigning for president), wedding shots, and shots of  lost friends, as well as old black and white shots of peoples ancestors sitting in front of the family home that has come down the generations.

The genealogist in me absolutely fell for this! This is such a fabulous way to tell a story, show change in our special places and bring history to life. It can be a pilgrimage to go back to the site of the original photo, to hear the stories surrounding the site and the photo, remembering the people involved and creating the new image with whatever remains.

I really would like to do a few of these… maybe placing some of the original subjects (like my brother and I) along the side of the original picture of us as children? Or maybe with his children in our place? I’ll let you know what I decide. Either way, I highly suggest this book and blog!

Happy hunting!


I was thrilled to find a new picture book by Caldecott Honor illustrator Lane Smith (It’s a Book) that had a fabulous family history theme just in time for Family History Month. In Grandpa Green, a little boy tells the story of his great grandfather’s life against the backdrop of a topiary garden of memories. The grandson walks through the garden picking up items his grandfather has forgotten while he tells the story of the man born before cell phones and computers who wanted to be a horticulturalist but instead went to war, met his wife in Paris, had lots of kids, grandkids, and one great grandson—the narrator. Each section of text is accompanied by a corresponding illustration of the grandfather’s garden where his memories live on. The detail in the topiary garden is amazing and the story is moving. It’s a well-constructed book with something for children and adults. And it would be a great conversation starter when talking about family history with a child. Recommended for ages 5 and up.


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