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Shake, Rattle & Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll Paperback – May 25, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618432299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618432295
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.8 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,525,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this sanitized compendium of 1950s rock stars, debut children's book writer George-Warren and Levine (Wig!) set themselves the task of translating music and personality to the page. Each spread features a capsule biography of a musician next to his or her portrait, painted on Masonite in an American primitive style and set in a found-object frame. Bill Haley comes first, along with his trademark "one, two, three o'clock, four o'clock ROCK" and a night sky full of "comets"; unfortunately, the writing is straight out of squaresville ("Although Bill Haley was a grownup, he sang about things teens liked and he spoke their language"). Little Richard appears against a glaring yellow background, and the text, which ripples out like sound waves from his portrait, trumpets his signature shriek: "A wop bop a loo bop a wop bam boom, tutti frutti, oh rooti!" Yet these immortal lyrics aren't as punchy in print, despite George-Warren's encouraging remark, "Wow, what a song!" Only a recap of Bo Diddley's signature beat ("Thump-a-thump-a-thump, a-thump-thump") suggests rock's catchy rhythms. The accounts politely bypass legend-making stories of Elvis's pelvis and Jerry Lee Lewis's scandalous marriage and only hint at rock's notorious racism and sexism; the volume cheers pivotal African-American artists like Chuck Berry and James Brown, but lets R&B singer LaVern Baker and rockabilly star Wanda Jackson represent all women rockers. Although oldies fans can appreciate Levine's homemade images, the set of icons resembles a quaint (and quiet) butterfly collection. This tame encyclopedia doesn't have much soul, and the uninitiated may wonder what all the fuss was about. Ages 8-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Gr 4 Up-Fourteen of the originators of rock & roll are featured in this energetic, lighthearted introduction to the 1950s "musical earthquake-that shook everything up." Each double-page spread features a one-page biography facing a full-page portrait of a musician surrounded by whimsical items connected with the artist's best-known hits. Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Wanda Jackson, Ritchie Valens, and James Brown are among the performers profiled. Information includes the musicians' childhood musical backgrounds, how their careers began, short descriptions of their greatest hits and of any unique clothing or hairstyles for which they were famous, and a little about their accomplishments beyond the 1950s. An excellent introduction describes the roots of rock & roll. Old picture frames, some gilded and some simple weathered wood, are used to frame each mixed-media, folk-art-flavored painting. LaVern Baker's "Tweedlee Dee" is recalled by birds hopping across the page, while Jerry Lee Lewis is shown playing a piano from which flames, fiery musical notes, and one great ball of fire emerge. A wonderfully entertaining browsing book that will also fill a gap in most music collections.-Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert on March 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
Renowned music journalist Holly George-Warren expertly tells the tales of the pioneers of rock and roll, illuminating hardscrabble aspects of each musician's early life. Kids and parents alike will appreciate how these colorful characters overcame obstacles and through hard work, help from friends and family, and opportunities seized, they changed the face of popular culture. Reading the stories to kids can help educate about both history and music alike.

Laura Levine's playful and highly original illustrations create an inviting landscape where one's imagination can soar.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an extremely cool book, designed to introduce young readers to some of the founding artists of rock and roll.
Holly George-Warren is one of my favorite rock writers (and also previously fronted the punk/polka Das Furlines), so I know I'm in good hands with HER.
The illustrations by Laura Levine are brilliant and simple, in an "outsider art" style, depicting each artist (Chuck Berry, LIttle Richard, Wanda Jackson, Bill Haley) performing, and surrounded by symbols (and cymbals) of their careers, including famous song titles. The Jerry Lee Lewis picture has a piano keyboard as a frame.
Kids will love it, and adults will enjoy the subtleties of the art. I'm probably going to keep one for myself, and give another to my young godson on his upcoming birthday.
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Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book to be used as a guest book for a rockabilly wedding. The guests were instructed to write a little something and sign anywhere they liked. The bride and groom wanted something more interesting than the traditional guest book which gets packed away and never looked at again. This book was perfect! The written snapshots of the musicians were fun and informative and the artwork was lighthearted and non-conventional. This is fun for adults and kids!
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By Muriel Rozin on August 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Perfect book to parallel a unit of oral histories. Rock and roll-everyone has something to say about it. Students will get into the originality of the pictures. Parents and children can read together the well-written material about the hottest names in music history. It has everything to get students to the top of the new standards while connecting with their families and friends!
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