Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimmy Hendrix

Golio, Gary. 2010. SOUNDS LIKE A RAINBOW: A STORY OF THE YOUNG JIMI HENDRIX. Ill. by Javaka Steptoe. New York: Clarion. ISBN 9780618852796 [Suggested Grade Levels 3-5]

Golio has created a fascinating look at Hendrix’s childhood and quest to “paint with sound” the life that he experienced as a child. Living in a boarding house with his father, Hendrix sought to recreate everyday sounds on an old ukulele and eventually a second-hand guitar which evolved into an adult talent that changed the world’s music scene. Golio faithfully illuminates the struggles and dedication that Hendrix gave to fulfilling his artistic drive, a struggle that serves as an inspiration to young artists today.

As a fine artist and clinical social work for children and teens, Golio provides substantial back matter on the musician’s life including a bibliography, an author’s note about Hendrix’s death, and resources about substance abuse. Hendrix’s artistic drive is amplified by the award-winning illustrations of Steptoe who created vibrantly colored mixed media impressionistic backgrounds with images of Hendrix taking the foreground. This biography is a fascinating addition to a historical look at our musical heritage as well as the limitless artistic possibilities when it comes to interpreting the world.

What enables someone to create and make beauty? This book and related books will support classroom discussions about artistic drive and creation as well as the influences upon the creative process.

Other books about artists:
Dylan, Bob. FOREVER YOUNG. ISBN 978-1416958086
Ryan, Pam Munoz. THE DREAMER. ISBN 9780439269704

By Christine J. Rayl

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