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THE BOOK OF ROCK STARS by Kathleen Krull Kirkus Star


24 Musical Icons that Shine Through History

by Kathleen Krull & illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

Age Range: 9 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7868-1950-2
Publisher: Hyperion

Krull takes her remarkable gift for witty, brief, and incisive biography to new heights in this compendium. Most of the artists get a single page (the Beatles get more) facing one of Alcorn’s fabulous polychrome relief-block prints. Her choices are sound: Elvis to Kurt Cobain, and a host of people who only need one name: Dylan, Jimi, Janis, Joni, Santana, Bono, Bruce. She captures the essence of their music in ways that will send young readers to their parents’ or grandparents’ music collections (a fine list of sources includes a book, a Web site, and a CD for each artist). Alcorn’s dramatic images use the texture inherent in his medium to make beautiful contrasts of patterns, and color creates almost psychedelic light-and-dark effects. He uses iconic imagery brilliantly: showing Bono with a sword and a halo; Cobain as a broken mirror. Readers will be sobered to see just how many of the dead rock stars died because of drug use, but Krull never equates their creativity with their excesses. (Biography. 9+)