Sounds like a Rainbow
32p. 978-0-61885-279-6.
RedReviewStarGr 4—8—Before he was famous, little Jimmy Hendrix tuned into a world colored with the sounds of the city outside the Seattle boarding house where he lived with his father. As a boy he strove to reproduce those sounds on his one-string ukulele, and eventually on a secondhand guitar. Golio's lyrical text sings with delicious description, and Steptoe's wildly colored mixed-media illustrations show the hues of the boy's imagination, with Hendrix always standing out from his surroundings. The story itself focuses on the musician's rise to fame, with a supplementary note and a bibliography providing more detailed background information. His tragic death is dealt with in a separate author's note, accompanied by a list of resources about substance abuse. A fascinating "Illustrator's Note" illuminates the process behind the intriguing artwork and underscores the book's theme of exploring the creative process. This book is likely to fascinate older children and reluctant readers who might be familiar with Hendrix's music, and could easily be tied into art and music curricula.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Golio ably introduces young readers to the rock legend by describing his humble childhood (he was raised by a cash-strapped single dad), first guitar (purchased from the landlady's son for $5), and creative drive ("He wondered: Could a person use music / like chalks and colored pencils?"). Steptoe accommodates the poetic, shape-shifting text in his heavily worked-over mixed-media illustrations. Websites. Bib.

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