November 20, 2013 by Reader's Connection
One holiday gift I have planned: I’m going to give one of my sons, or both of them together (they’ll share it, anyway) a copy of Legends, Icons & Rebels : Music That Changed the World.
It is written in part by Robbie Robertson, guitarist & principal songwriter for my all-time favorite rock group, The Band. The grandiloquent title had me worried that Robbie had written a grandiloquent book, but perhaps his co-authors (his son and two others) helped him avoid that. The three reviews that I’ve read are raves. Here’s Booklist:
Wow. Just wow! This book is big in every way. Robertson, best known as a member of the Band, and his cowriters introduce the heavyweights of popular music to a new generation. Incredible thought has been put into this oversize offering, from selection of the artists to the eye-popping design and even to the quality of the paper. CDs of the artists’ music are included, something books about musicians often miss. The book’s art is hard to resist. Big, bold graphic portraits begin every section. A variety of illustrators have provided the pictures, and each one is so memorable you want to rip it out and frame it. (Don’t do that.) Chuck Berry duckwalks on a checkerboard. Aretha sings her heart out at the piano. In a graphite image, more like a photo than a drawing, a young, beautiful Elvis, guitar in hand, eyes the reader. In a book so visually appealing, it’s a treat that the words grab as much as the pictures. Though each artist gets just a two-page spread, there’s such well-chosen personal and professional information, young people will come away with an understanding of each person’s evolution. All of the material feels fresh, and with back matter aplenty, there are lots of ways that this could be used in schools–or kids could just kick back, read, and listen.
And at the end of its review, Publishers Weekly calls the book “An ideal gift for children whose parents have just discovered that they don’t know who Otis Redding is. ”
A list of gift suggestions for children will be appearing on the Kids’ Blog, but here’s a start.