Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday
Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!
Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles
Author: Susanna Reich
Illustrator: Adam Gustavson
Published August 18th, 2015 by Henry Holt and Co.
Goodreads Summary: In 1957 in Liverpool, England, a young lad named John Lennon and his band played music at a local church fair. In the audience was Paul McCartney, who liked what he heard and soon joined the group. Paul’s friend George Harrison kept showing up at rehearsals until the older boys finally let him in. Eventually they found the perfect drummer, Ringo Starr, and the perfect name: The Beatles.
Told through a lyrical text and stunning paintings, this book spotlights four ordinary boys growing up amid the rubble of postwar England who found music to be a powerful, even life-saving, force.
My Review: I adore The Beatles. I think they, along with other artists like Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Bob Dylan, really changed the direction of music and opened up a whole new world of music that truly made modern rock and roll possible. Because of that, and how much I love their music, I have always enjoyed learning about them. This middle grade picture book biography really gives us a wonderful look into the childhood and the creation of the band. In addition to really giving us insight into each boys’ lives and how The Beatles began, Susanna Reich did a beautiful job combining fact, primary sources, and lyrical writing. In addition to the beautiful writing, the art that accompanies it is stunning. They are truly paintings as the summary states.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I really hope that kids read this book! I want the story of The Beatles to continue because of their importance within music history.
I think one really interesting analysis of the book that the students could partake in is a visual analysis. Students would first read the text completely. They would then go back and reread a single page then look at the full page illustrations. They should discuss or write about why the artist chose the specific scene/person/activity to illustrate. What else could they have chosen to illustrate? Which do you think makes a bigger impact?
Discussion Questions: Which Beatle is the creator of the band?; What vocabulary in the text are obsolete in modern times?; How would The Beatles rise to fame be different if it was the 21st century when they formed?; What traits do each of the members have?
We Flagged: “John attacked the guitar, strumming as fast as he could. He didn’t give a fig about wrong notes.”
Read This If You Loved: Any books about The Beatles including The Beatles Were Fab by Kathleen Krull and John’s Secret Dreams by Doreen Rappaport, Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown, When Bob Met Woody by Gary Golio, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Make sure to visit other stops on the blog tour!
Monday, August 17 Booktalking
Tuesday, August 18 Shelf-Employed
Review plus Susanna reveals her favorite Beatles song
Wednesday, August 19 UnleashingReaders.com
Thursday, August 20 Elizabeth Dulemba
Susanna & Adam interview each other
Friday, August 21 Maurice on Books
Tuesday, August 25 Kidsbiographer’s Blog
Susanna writes about choosing subjects for kid’s biographies
Wednesday, August 26 Gail Gauthier
Thursday, August 27 Tales from the Rushmore Kid
Friday, August 28 Alphabet Soup
Interview with Susanna
**Thank you to Susanna for providing a copy for review!!**