Friday, February 18, 2011

Shake, Rattle & Turn That Noise Down!

Booklist (November 1, 2009 (Vol. 106, No. 5))
Grades 2-4. Older generations may never tire of telling kids how much rock ’n’ roll, and Elvis in particular, rattled society. But in this picture-book memoir, Stamaty captures just how raucous the rock revolution really was. In comics-style panels, he lays out how pleased his mom was when he was listening to the old crooners and classical music on his radio. Then, one day, Elvis blasts out of the speakers, joyfully upending the boy in one explosive spread that’s followed in the next by Mom clutching her head in despair from “the wailing of a lunatic asylum!” Even as the boy goes from ardent listener to pompadoured hip-wiggler, Mom eventually comes around to the new sound. Dividing each page into multiple panels with sizable chunks of text allows Stamaty to cram a lot of information (both on rock history and his community’s reaction to it) into the picture-book format. It’s a fairly busy offering, but one that matches its subject well and makes a convincing case that that an old, dead singer really was cool.

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