Very Young Inspiration

a-very-young-dancer.jpgToday, Kate shares a charming book series for girls:

When I was a young girl, my favorite gift to receive was one of the books in the Very Young series by photographer and writer Jill Krementz. Oversized and filled with gorgeous black and white photographs, each book follows a period in the life of a young girl -- all between 8 and 12 or so -- who excel in particular sports or hobbies: ballet, gymnastics, figure skating, horseback riding.
The text was adapted directly from the words of the girls themselves, and the books are formulaic in the best possible way: the design is the same for all of them, the stories follow the same sort of arc, and they can be read over and over with the same level of enjoyment. Best of all, the girls at the center of the books are sympathetic and natural, simultaneously remarkable for their achievement and dedication and just like every other girl their age.

The books were such a special part of my girlhood that I've kept them all these years, and I recently pulled them out of the closet to share them with my daughter (she is much younger now than I was when I first read them). Although the text is a little advanced for her -- I paraphrased the words rather than reading them all out -- the photographs are as compelling and the girls just as easy to relate to as I remember. The books are a little hard to find now, but they are available online and at used bookstores, and are definitely worth experiencing or re-experiencing. The girls and their stories are sure to charm.

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Editor's Note: Reader Diane commented in via the Boston Mamas Facebook page that the series isn't just for girls. She notes that "A Very Young Circus Flyer is about a boy and I think there are others too." Thanks for the lead Diane!