AALBC.com LogoCopyright © 1997-2017, All Rights Reserved — https://aalbc.com — troy@aalbc.com — Tel: 347-692-2522

Book Review: Jimi: Sounds Like A Rainbow: A Story Of The Young Jimi Hendrix

Jimi: Sounds Like A Rainbow: A Story Of The Young Jimi Hendrix
by Gary Golio, Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe

Publication Date:
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Children’s
Page Count: 32
ISBN13: 9780618852796
Imprint: Clarion Books
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Parent Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Read Clarion Books’s description of Jimi: Sounds Like A Rainbow: A Story Of The Young Jimi Hendrix

Book Reviewed by

"To really know about a person, you have to do things that they did, and see the things that they saw. So I listened t the music, and watched performances on YouTube, I walked the streets of Jimi's hometown, Seattle. I read and thought about Jimi, and talked to people who knew him, and I even fingered an electric guitar once or twice...

I thought about how Jimi saw the world and how that differed from other people's views, so I painted Jimi one way and his surroundings another way… This book is about the creative process of an artist… No matter who we are creatively, we all basically follow the same path, but make the process our own and unique to us… All I can say is, Jimi rocks!"
-- Excerpted from the Illustrator's Note (pg. 31)

Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) was a flamboyant rock icon who flamed out instead of fading away due to his also being a substance abuser who dabbled in everything from alcohol to marijuana to amphetamines to hashish to heroin to LSD before succumbing at the tender age of 27 to a combination of red wine and sleeping pills. Ostensibly enough time has elapsed since his passing that Hendrix can now serve as a role model to children, at least in terms of overcoming childhood adversity, exploring one's creativity and, of course, making beautiful music.

Thus, he is appropriately the subject of Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow, an autobiography designed for 4th though 8th graders which focuses primarily on the legendary guitarist's formative years spent growing up and exploring in Seattle. Faithful factually to what actually transpired in Jimi's life, the book touches on such significant milestones as his acquiring his first ukulele, guitar and, later, electric guitar.

Adults familiar with Hendrix's hits are more apt to appreciate how author Gary Golio has imperceptibly woven allusions to songs like "The Wind Cries Mary" and "Purple Haze" right into the story. A little less subtle are Javaka Steptoe's psychedelic illustrations evocative of flower children fave Peter Max.

Hey, if these authors figured out how to put a positive spin on the Woodstock Nation's fondness for hallucinogens, who knows what's next? Maybe a graphic pop-up book aimed at kindergarteners about the Hip-Hop Generation's East Coast-West Coast turf war featuring bios of Biggie and Tupac.

Vote for Your Favorite Black Author of the 21st Century
25 African Male Writers You Should ReadAfrican Men: 25 You Must Read

AALBC.com Bestselling BooksAALBC.com Bestselling Books

Printed: January 19, 2018, 7:14 am
☆ Mission
To Celebrate Black Culture Through Literature and Literary Nonfiction to Readers of all Backgrounds and Ages; and Advocate for Independent Media

☥ About Us
Started in 1997, AALBC.com (African American Literature Book Club) is the largest, most frequently visited web site of its kind. More
Customer Service
Advertising Rates
Advertiser Login
Contact Us – FAQ
Give Us Feedback
AALBC on Pinterest AALBC on Facebook AALBC on Twitter
AALBC RSS Feed AALBC on Youtube Email AALBC