The Beatles

illus. by Brita Granström. 48p. chron. discog. glossary. Frances Lincoln. Mar. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781847804518.
Gr 3–5—This enchanting picture book presents a concise, child-friendly overview of the Beatles for those with little to no knowledge of the group, starting with a quick look at the four's childhood days and ending with their breakup in 1970. In an upbeat tone, Manning covers familiar ground, briefly discussing some of the four's most famous songs and providing bite-size synopses of watershed moments, while Granström affectionately re-creates iconic images of the group, such as their arrival in America and their legendary rooftop performance at Apple Records. Loose-lined, cartoonish illustrations full of speech bubbles add a comic-book tone, imbuing the work with a whimsical, lighthearted air. Sidebars interspersed throughout and a time line at the end provide some historical context. Manning glosses over events that would be inappropriate for younger readers (for example, the band's amphetamine-fueled, sex-soaked early experiences in Hamburg, Germany are cheerfully transformed into descriptions of the boys "dressing in leather and doing crazy things: screaming into their microphones, telling jokes and stomping their feet"), and many details, including marital transgressions and most of the conflict within the band, are left out entirely. The result is a portrait of the Fab Four as a fun-loving, goofy quartet—an image of which manager Brian Epstein himself (who was responsible for the group's more clean-cut initial look) would've approved. A charming introduction to a beloved pop group and its cultural and historical impact.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing