La Jolla native to sign her children’s book on Ansel Adams


La Jolla High School graduate, outdoor educator and former La Jolla Light freelance reporter Cindy Jenson-Elliott will sign her latest children’s book, “Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature,” 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 at Warwick’s Books, 7812 Girard Ave.

Inspired by the life and career of landscape photographer Ansel Adams, the work is a nonfiction picture book, illustrated by Christy Hale. It opens with a glimpse into his childhood: “Ansel was antsy. He never walked — he ran. When he sat, his feet danced. Even his thoughts flew about like a gull in a storm. Ansel noticed everything. And everyone noticed Ansel. ‘Pay attention’ said his aunt. ‘Please sit still’ begged his mother.” Unable to sit still, young Adams’ father often sent him outside to play. It was there he developed an appreciation for nature.

“Magical things can happen when we allow kids to have access to the outdoors. A child like Ansel Adams, who struggles with school, may ultimately have a successful future if they are channeled in a way that meets their need as a person,” Jenson-Elliott said. “Ansel Adams’ father eventually took him out of school because he saw that his son was hyperactive. He let Ansel run around and have free access to nature. That relationship led to his adulthood and his career as a nature photographer. His photography became iconic — especially his photos of Yosemite and other National Parks – and his works have made us love our National Parks again ... the story of his life is so interesting.

“I want children to feel what Ansel felt like. My hope is for children (and their parents) to see how important that connection to nature is.”

— “Antsy Ansel” is available for purchase at