Day 337—Before Dick and Jane

The topic of today’s challenge is “A Child’s View,” a rather alien subject for me. After rejecting several options (including the partially deflated football that, yes, once again found its way into my yard from the child next door) I came across some old children’s books I read and reread as a child, including one that had been my mother’s when she learned to read. I didn’t realize until after I’d photographed it that it is a California text book, copyrighted in 1916 by “The People of the State of California.” This edition is from 1923 when my mother would have been six years old. I hope the statute of limitations for stolen text books has long since past. The book is called “The Primer” and is well worn with Scotch-taped pages (from when I was reading it) and letters written in red crayon and pencil from my early attempts at learning how to write. I remember this book so well and all of its stories and illustrations are indelibly etched in my brain, including one of my favorites, Chicken Little. As I learned to read at school with Dick and Jane, I learned to read at home with my mother’s ancient primer.

I photographed just one of the pages from the Chicken Little story. The book was laying on a table with sunlight streaming through the shutters. At first I thought to close the shutters but decided I liked the look of the streaks of sunlight. It reminds me of the University of California’s motto, “Let There Be Light” and since this primer was meant to be a child’s first introduction to learning, the light streaks seem appropriate. I added color monochrome and a vignette for effect.

Focal Length 35mm
ISO 100