Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Changing Our Lives
Thanks to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at Kidlit Frenzy, those who link up share fabulous non-fiction picture books. I am grateful for all that I've learned through reading non-fiction picture books.
I've read some terrific biographies this year, people who have rare talents in quite an array of topics. Here is one more, living in our lifetime whose main role will always stay with those of us who watched Star Trek, but in this book, I discovered that he created much more than I ever knew. It is a marvelous introduction to the Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy. I remember all the talk about this "new" TV show about space and the strange adventures they were having. We were immediately hooked. What I don't remember is that the original show only lasted three years. It's made quite an impact on us since then, hasn't it?
Leonard Nimoy's young life is new to me. I didn't know he was poor, and part of a Jewish immigrant family of grandparents, parents and a brother all living together in four rooms. The book opens with Lenny's first performance in front of an audience, singing "God Bless America" at the settlement house where he went to school. He was enraptured with the applause and continued doing more and more plays whenever he could. He gained a scholarship to a summer theater program, and continued on, loving every bit of theater. At the same time, he had a camera and learned how to develop pictures, claiming he seemed to be exposing his family member's souls. Lenny worked at jobs to save what he could because finally, he decided to go to Hollywood, to chase his dream!
In Hollywood, it wasn't easy. He auditioned, got small parts and worked at small jobs, but he was finally noticed! One day Gene Roddenberry called, said he was developing a new series, and he wanted Lenny to play this NEW alien character being created. Lenny didn't know if he should but finally said "yes". And, as you know, the rest is history!
There are pages of additional information and a wonderful author's note from Richard Michelson who was his gallerist. Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock of the stars, is an accomplished photographer and his photographs are showed many places, also curated at museums. Edel Rodriguez' illustrations stay with dark tones, some blue/gray, some brown/beige, perhaps to depict the underlying theme of Spock/Nimoy reaching for and ending i "the stars". For Trekkies and for other readers, the bio covers up to the time that Star Trek appeared.
May you all "live long and prosper".
Here's a link to Richard Michelson's website with added links if you'd like to read more!