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New book reminds us what it's like to be a kid

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"It's a children's book for adults, about what you knew as a kid, why it was important to forget and how great it is to remember," writes 64-year-old San Rafael photographer Jerry Downs about Why You Were Born ($29.95) on his Kickstarter page. The165-page book successfully raised $20,000 in October and will be delivered to his home this week.

"What I care about is what art and photography are about," Downs says by phone from his San Rafael home. "And they're about life." Though the book is worth it for the artwork alone, the text is what makes Why You Were Born a must-have for deep thinkers, people-ologists and curious life-explorers.

Why You Were Born is at times insightful, touching, philosophical, sappy and hilarious, but its most endearing quality is its honesty. With each new reading, it reveals something as yet unseen—just like life.

Jerry Downs will be reading from Why We Were Born Saturday, June 21 at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 1pm. Free. 415.927.0960. The book's official kickoff party is Saturday, June 28, at the Fort Mason Firehouse. 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco. 6–11pm. Free. 415.345.7500.

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