So this is a super cool book. It’s part MoMA history, part this funky young visionary’s story. Look at her camera perched by her side! Her confident gaze directly into the reader’s eye! A nearly animated cover where the bittiest blocks of color almost blink!
One of the things that I always look for in books for kids are stories that honor their realness. Their hopes and dreams and fears and feelings that sometimes grownups have forgotten all about. Charlotte always carries that slim smile, even when the nun tells her none of that. I’d imagine this isn’t the only place she’s heard that she might be a bit unusual.
That’s because Charlotte prefers black and white to color, and when kids have a preference, it’s usually a pretty strong one. Kids don’t generally go around only sort of caring about something.
And here’s a beautiful example of that. Charlotte’s safe world is black and white, a stark contrast to that of her parents. To the left of the gutter, a home, and to the right, something unfamiliar and loud.
But her parents know this and they understand.
On Friday nights they take her to see black and white movies. And Charlotte is happy.
And on Sundays, they go to the Museum of Modern Art. And Charlotte is happy.
That’s where Charlotte meets Scarlett, an aficionado of black and white too, and how it clears away the clutter. And that’s where Charlotte’s smile returns.
Here’s a kid, wholly in love with something that might seem unconventional. But she has parents who get it, a trip to an art museum that seals it, and a cat who is always willing to play a part.
So that’s what Charlotte does: makes a film in black and white. Scarlet calls it dazzling and genius, but the colorful people?
Only that was their reaction at the beginning, before Young Charlotte, Filmmaker had finished telling her story.
Be sure to check out Young Frank, Architect as well. These two are a perfect pair.
PS: Over on Instagram, a bunch of us teamed up to share one book on a particular theme each month. This was Michelle‘s brilliant idea, and we’d love it if you followed along. Check out #littlelitbookseries! Janssen of Everyday Reading shared another favorite Frank Viva book as part of that series, which is the same one that I wrote about once upon a time for Design Mom!
And thanks to Frank Viva for the images in this post!