Elvis Is King!

Jonah Winter, illus. by Red Nose Studio. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-55470-4
This picture book biography from the duo behind Here Comes the Garbage Barge! conveys the story of Elvis Presley’s life, from crushing loneliness and poverty early on to his first #1 hit, “Heartbreak Hotel.” Reality and fantasy blend together in the cinematically styled and lit compositions: when young Presley first hears gospel music coming from a rural African-American church “on a dusty road,” the building seems to ascend to heaven on wings (an afterword delves further into his rise within the context of America’s racial history). Wire, clay, and cloth sculptures by Red Nose Studio find an ideal subject in Presley’s operatic emotions, jet black–dyed pompadour (depicted here in tidal wave proportions), and kinetic hip swiveling. Winter’s text reads like blank verse and matches the images’ emotional power on every page: “What would you do if you were just a poor country boy in the big city... What crazy plans might you concoct, lying in bed at night, listening to the freight trains passing by?”Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2018
Release date: 01/08/2019
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-0-399-55471-1
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