Longtime Alaska photographer Mark Kelley and writer Nick Jans have teamed up to create a children’s book.
Jans is a contributing editor to Alaska Magazine and has written several books. But this is his first time writing for kids, something Jans says intimidated him.
“It took me nine books to get up the nerve to finally write a kid’s book ‘cause kids are the toughest audience there is,” Jans says.
“Once Upon Alaska” is written in rhyming verse. While Jans is most known for descriptive prose, his first publication was poetry, which appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine. He also studied poetry in graduate school at the University of Washington.
“My parents read to me Rudyard Kipling, Shakespeare, Longfellow, Wordsworth, Coleridge– you name it. And I grew up hearing that and my mom was a musician, too, so I always had the music of words going in my head,” Jans says.
“Once Upon Alaska, A Kid’s Photo Book” features 25 photographs by Kelley that were shot mostly in Southeast over several decades. One photo dates back to 1976.
“So it spans a large portion of my life and some of my pictures of my kids are in there. They happen to be in there ‘cause that’s who I shot and I wanted to put kids in a kid’s book. They were seven or eight in those pictures and now they’re 25 and 27, so it’s a long span of pictures, including three or four pictures that I shot last summer,” Kelley says.
“Once Upon Alaska” is a new children’s book, released today, written by Nick Jans, photographed by Mark Kelley, and designed by Heidi Reifenstein. All three – former and current Juneau residents – will be at the Juneau Artists Gallery for First Friday.
- The Alaska State Commission for Human Rights is the state’s anti-discrimination agency. In 2011, a legislative audit found that the agency wasn’t doing its job. Five years later, the agency is still trying to move forward.
- "The first time I saw one, I was amazed. I didn’t know what I was looking at," said Bob Stone, a fisheries research biologist at NOAA.
- Juneau Makerspace opens its studio to the public on Monday nights except for holidays. See an upcoming events calendar at JuneauMakerspace.org. Family memberships are $50 a month. Members get 24-hour access.
- A Juneau resident blew a blood alcohol content of three times the legal driving limit early Monday after a single-vehicle incident and was arrested. Tautar Pearce, 37, was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated.