Illustrator: Javaka Steptoe
Publisher: Clarion Books (October 4, 2010)
Reading Level: Ages 9 to 12 years
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Description from GoodReads:
Jimi Hendrix was many things: a superstar, a rebel, a hero, an innovator. But first, he was a boy named Jimmy who loved to draw and paint and listen to records. A boy who played air guitar with a broomstick and longed for a real guitar of his own. A boy who asked himself a question: Could someone paint pictures with sound?
This a story of a talented child who learns to see, hear, and interpret the world around him in his own unique way. It is also a story of a determined kid with a vision, who worked hard to become a devoted and masterful artist. Jimi Hendrix--a groundbreaking performer whose music shook the very foundations of rock 'n' roll.
Recently, I noticed that someone had mentioned this book on Twitter. During my next trip to my favorite indie bookstore, I decided to check it out. I was curious to read a picture book on Jimi Hendrix. From what point of view would it be told? And what would it chose to focus on? I was pleased with the approach that author Gary Golio uses to tell about Jimi Hendrix the child. The majority of the book focuses on his early youth, his love of music, and how he discovers his own signature playing style. The reader learns about the musicians and bands that influenced Hendrix in the early years, as well as, how he began with a ukulele and then a second-hand guitar.
Steptoe's mixed media focuses on providing a visual representation of Hendrix's music. The colors splash across the page providing this incredible compliment to the text.
Golio does a solid job with this biography. And the resources at the end of the book are quite valuable especially if a teacher or student decides to look at them more closely. This would be a nice addition to a collection on biographies. Jimi: Sounds Like A Rainbow is definitely a book worth checking out.