Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow by Gary Golio was on my top twenty list for the CYBILS Nonfiction Picture Books category. This category is for the younger readers so I was surprised have it on my list. I grew up on the music and knew how drugs and alcohol took over and ended the life of a brilliant artist.
Golio’s book, however, is all about perseverance in doing what you love and Hendrix loved his guitar and music. From his childhood beginnings of using a broom to pretend he was playing, his love of drawing and painting, and wonderings “could a person use music like chalk and colored pencils? Could someone paint pictures with sound?”, we learn about a different Jimi Hendrix. The young boy Hendrix filled with promise and willingness to practice to perfection. His first guitar was a five dollar purchase from the landlady’s son.
Golio’s writing infuses the poetic with fact and Javaka Steptoe’s collage illustrations match the tone and the words. At the end of the book, Golio includes additional biographical information about Jimi Hendrix including how he died.
Some favorite quotes from the book:
“The blues, they is a lonely sound. Like the whistle of a train. For tender feeling, and pourin’ down rain.”
“Notes spun from the strings, flickering in the air like fireflies.”
“With a flick of a switch, Jimmy’s life was electrified.”
“Don’t et nobody turn you off from your own thoughts and dreams.”
Good news if you loved this book, Golio is coming out with Bob Met Woody, a book about Bob Dylan this May.
Nonfiction Monday is at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Thanks, Tricia.