Monday, August 16, 2010

Book Review (Kids): Shake, Rattle and Turn That Noise Down! How Elvis Shook Up Music, Me and Mom


Shake, Rattle and Turn That Noise Down! How Elvis Shook Up Music, Me and Mom
by Mark Alan Stamaty
Alfred A. Knopf
2010
40 pgs.

For his eighth birthday, Mark Alan Stamaty gets the coolest present ever - his very own radio.  As he writes in this adorable children's book, that might not seem like a big deal today ...but to a kid in 1955, this was indeed very much a Very. Big. Deal.

He listened to his new radio non-stop and soon, a new sound emerged from the speakers, that of "that singer that everyone is talking about, Elvis Presley." 

"Suddenly, without warning, a howling thunder of sound exploded into my room, engulfing me in a hurricane of excitement.  It took me over, made me want to move and dance like nothing I'd ever felt before.  I turned up the volume full blast and let the music take me away!!!!!!!!!!"

The sounds of The King weren't music to Mark's mother's ears. At first she forbid her son to buy any Elvis records - until she heard a little song called "Love Me Tender."   He was allowed to buy that one, and that one only. 

"My mother couldn't believe it.  'He DOES have a voice! Why does he waste it?'"

Mark becomes infatuated with everything Elvis - his music, his moves, his hairstyle (which he successfully copies and becomes the envy of his class).  He performed as Elvis for a school talent show; later, as an adult working as a political cartoonist, he would occasionally do an a cappella performance, including a memorable impromptu show for President Clinton.

Both Betty and Boo loved Shake, Rattle and Turn That Noise Down! (I'm not much of an Elvis fan, but I did like this picture book).  It's written in a graphic novel format, which is very popular these days with my kids - especially Boo.  They loved the illustrations and the mother freaking out over the music (something they are accustomed to, in a lesser regard, as The Husband and I will occasionally make our opinions known on the musical talent of their Radio Disney icons).  I've found that parents freaking out is always good for a few laughs from my kids whenever I read aloud to them (something that is disappearing, sad to say). 

Shake, Rattle and Turn That Noise Down! is targeted for an age range of 5-8, which I think is appropriate.  There are plenty of kids in that age who are into rock and roll, and my kids are among them (to some extent and more Boo than Betty), and I think that this would have a lot of appeal. 

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Young Readers

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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