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JIMI by Gary Golio Kirkus Star

JIMI

Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix

By Gary Golio (Author) , Javaka Steptoe (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-618-85279-6
Publisher: Clarion

Golio examines Jimi Hendrix’s childhood creativity as a nurtured progression that stoked an explosively influential expression in the ’60s. From drawing, painting and coaxing the sounds of raindrops out of a one-string ukulele, Jimmy (he became Jimi as an adult) acquires a $5 acoustic guitar and then a cheap electric model, which was “to Jimmy… pure gold.” Playing along with radio tunes, haunting Seattle record stores and devouring his father’s jazz and blues LPs, Jimmy turns a curiosity into a passion. The author—an artist and clinical social worker—lucidly demonstrates that a path to creative excellence is not only possible for young people but self-actualizing. In a note, he writes candidly about Hendrix’s addiction, offering prevention websites for children and teens. Steptoe’s superb mixed-media illustrations consciously utilize dual techniques, echoing Jimi’s artistic maturation. On reclaimed plywood, sketchy pastel cutouts float against brilliantly vivid, photo-collaged impasto. Outstanding in every way. (biographical note, author’s note, websites, illustrator’s note, bibliography, discography) (Picture book/biography. 6-11)