cover image So You Want to Be a Rock Star

So You Want to Be a Rock Star

Audrey Vernick, illus. by Kirstie Edmunds. Walker, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8027-2092-4

Air guitarists, rejoice! Vernick (Teach Your Buffalo to Play Drums) lays down a delightfully snark-free guide to how kids can release their inner spotlight-loving performer. The text invites readers backstage early on: “You want to be a rock star? Let’s see if you have what it takes.” From there, Vernick poses queries about the requisite tools of true rock stars (“Do you have a really cool electric guitar?”) and follows up with real-life substitutions: “That’s okay. Can you hold your left hand out to the side and strum your stomach with your right hand? Give it a try. You rock!” By book’s end, readers will have mastered loud singing, awesome dance moves, proper sneering, and autograph signing. Debut illustrator Edmunds harnesses the energy of kids’ ambition and broad creativity in her angular, pencil-and-digital-paint scenes of a boy and girl jamming with gleeful abandon. The low-tech premise—you can still rock with a mop on your head and family members as backup dancers—is refreshing, and the book’s self-esteem boost is totally in tune with an American Idol era. Ages 4–8. Agent: Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Prospect Agency. (Feb.)