WHAT IS PUNK? by Eric Morse


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Age Range: 4 - 8
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A punk primer for the youngest set.

There is no doubt that kids can make a deafening roar. But do they care about the energy and hard-edged spirit of punk music? Morse, in attempt to capture that unique history, tells the story of punk within the confines of rhyming couplets. The rhymes give the text an appreciated momentum, but the cramped (and sometimes-stilted) cadence seems an odd choice for such an aggressive movement. Morse says himself of punk beginnings: "With their eyes open wide / they shouted in fear, / 'What new sound is this?' / and covered their ears.” Regardless, Morse does include an impressive list of bands: the Ramones, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, and across the pond to the Clash, and, yes, even the Sex Pistols (the ladies of punk are represented as well—we’ll disregard the stereotypical pink backdrop). Yi’s incredibly detailed clay figures are a kinetic and inspired art choice. Their crazy creativity matches the expressive spirit of punk. Morse doesn’t necessarily answer the title question, instead offering a simple string of bands, but as he points out, the best way to learn about punk is just to listen.

The target audience may be a bit perplexed, but if invested adults love the topic, a shared reading experience can’t be beat. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-61775-392-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Akashic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2015


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