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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

arts review books

REVIEW: 'Good Night, Indiana University' by Joey Lax-Salinas is a sweet tribute to IU’s campus

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The recently published children’s book, “Good Night, Indiana University,” by Joey Lax-Salinas, is a sincere ode to the campus and is perfect for any IU alumni to share with their families.  

Through charming poetry, the book follows a tour of campus ending with a sunset at Sample Gates. The book’s illustrations are based on Lax-Salinas' photos, which he has taken as a licensed photographer for IU since 2018.  

“I have hundreds of them of pretty much every building and every spot on-campus at every different season, and one day I was thinking to myself: what else can I do with these pictures?” he said.  

He was inspired by the “Good Night” style books he would see in bookstores while on vacation with his family, such as “Good Night, Indiana” or “Good Night, Michigan.” He has a 5-year-old and a 19-month-old who loved picking them out, and he wondered if there was any book dedicated to IU. He found a few but none he felt showcased the campus or the school’s history. 

He found an illustrator, Prabir Sarkar, who he felt depicted his original photos perfectly, and after spending several months writing the poetic story of the book, he sent the book to IU Press. 

“I was thinking this is going to be a perfect fit if this all comes together,” he said. “And sure enough, almost right away they reached out, and they said they were interested.” 

The illustrations are simple, colorful and would appeal to any reader, while rendering in detail sites IU alumni would recognize fondly. The beloved places on campus include Wells Library, the Showalter Fountain and Sample Gates.  

Lax-Salinas, an alumnus himself, shared that his memory of his years at school are tethered to specific places. He fondly remembers his favorite study spots and the buildings where he attended classes or met with friends, and he figured other alumni would share the same sentiment. 

Lax-Salinas said after having conversations with people who have purchased the book and with the bookstores, it seems the book is connecting with readers the way he hoped it would.  

“People that are really passionate about IU; they love it just as much as I do, which is the best thing for me because that's ultimately what I wanted to be able to give,” he said. 

The book is available at most book retailers and IU Press’ website. 

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