THE SONG SHOOTS OUT OF MY MOUTH by Jaime Adoff

THE SONG SHOOTS OUT OF MY MOUTH

A Celebration of Music
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

An illustrated collection of poems seeks to celebrate teen engagement with music in its many forms. Members of a garage band trash talk each other, a girl plays “Double Dutch with the Lord” to Aretha Franklin, a boy plays air guitar to the radio, another boy wishes devoutly for a trumpet but must settle for tuba in the school band. The poems burst with the energetic bravado of adolescence, frequently invoking the pantheon for inspiration: “In my sleep, I am / Moon / Bonham / Buddy / Blakey / 10,000 / Charlie / Watts / of / power / I am the drummer— / ‘What? OK, Mom, I’m coming!’ ” Teen concerns embed themselves in the poems, from anxiety before a performance to a desire to impress the opposite sex to parental woes: “Ba DA da da DA. / Got a brand-new guitar. / Ba DA da da DA. / Just the other day. / Ba DA da da DA. / Played it for five minutes. / Ba DA da da DA. / Then my mom took it away.” It’s a fairly lengthy collection—24 poems—and although there is some nod to girls, they by and large (and most successfully) operate from a male perspective. Newcomer Adoff’s enthusiasm for his subject comes endearingly to the fore in the section of “Backnotes,” in which he identifies the artists alluded to and includes specific selections for listening. This enthusiasm carries the collection through an inevitable unevenness and at times forced maintenance of the title motif. The illustrations, by newcomer French, are a sort of neo–Jazz Age/comic-book pastiche. The palette is dominated by purple and orange, with vigorous splatters of color as a background for boldly outlined figures. It’s a risky enterprise, a picture book specifically aimed at teens, but the striking graphics and teen-friendly subject may well make it a viable one. (Picture book/poetry. 12+)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-525-46949-4
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2002




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