George Ancona

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George Ancona (born December 19, 1929)[citation needed] is an American photo essayist and creator of photo-illustrated children's picture books. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of immigrants from Mexico.[1] He painted signs for Coney Island at "12 or 13" years[1] and as a teenager "knew I would become an artist".[2] As of 2008 he lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico.[2]

In 2002, Ancona received the Children's Book Guild (Washington, DC) Nonfiction Award.[3]

Ancona creates books for children ages 8 to 12. The photographs tell the story, he explained to students for Scholastic Corporation ([1]

Do you have a story in mind before you take the pictures, or do you take the pictures and then write the story?

Before I start taking pictures I create a sequence that will fit in a 48-page book. Then I start taking pictures and assign the pictures to the squares I drew. Once I have pictures telling the story I start writing in sequence, which is dictated by the pictures. I let the pictures tell me the story. I find that I do better if I know nothing about a subject before I start the book. The discovery of a subject is what makes it fun and that makes the book fun. I like to end up with a life experience that will enrich my life.

How many pictures do you have to take to make a book?

Usually for every picture, I use one roll of film. There are usually 50 pictures in a book, so there are 50 rolls and each roll is 36 exposures. So, for a book with 50 pictures I will take 1,800 photographs.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "George Ancona Interview Transcript". Scholastic Teachers ( Retrieved 2014-10-15. "The author was interviewed by Scholastic students." No date.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  3. "Nonfiction Award – Previous Winners". Children's Book Guild of Washington, DC ( Retrieved 2014-10-15.

External links

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