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*Shake, Rattle and Turn That Noise Down!: How Elvis Shook Up Music, Me & Mom* by Mark Alan Stamaty
Shake, Rattle and Turn That Noise Down!: How Elvis Shook Up Music, Me & Mom
by Mark Alan Stamaty
Ages 5-8 40 pages Knopf January 2010 Hardcover    

Eight-year-old Mark and his mother enjoy the same types of music, but all that changes when Elvis debuts on the radio. When “Hound Dog” is played for the first time, Mark immediately wants to move and dance.

His mother, on the other hand, screams “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Turn that down! I can’t stand it!” Their bonding over music seems to come to an abrupt halt.

Written within square and rectangular panels, this true story shows how Mark makes Elvis part of his life. At the soda shop, he reads about Elvis in the magazines. At home, he memorizes song lyrics and tries out dance moves. One time at school, he restyles his classmates’ hair to resemble the Elvis pompadour.

Although Mark’s mom dislikes Elvis Presley songs and bans his records from the house, she eventually starts to change her mind. She comes to like one particular Elvis song she hears on the radio, and one particular Elvis performance she sees on the stage.

This book exudes all the excitement of Elvis. It’s admirable how the author has shared his love of Elvis Presley with others over the year. This book not only shows how it all started, but how it continues up to the present day. The author’s recollections of this time are also expanded upon at the end of the book through family photographs and descriptions of his Elvis performances as an adult - one which took place in the White House Oval Office in 1993.

Rendered in graphite, ink, gouache, watercolor, polymer paint, and colored pencils, the illustrations in this book accurately reflect the 1955-1957 time period. An old radio and television are shown in the living room, a record player is used at school, and Mark is dressed in a Davy Crockett T-shirt on his birthday.

To emphasize emotions, the font colors in the speech bubbles and narration boxes change from black to red to yellow. When the music plays, the text stretches up and down to the beat.

Although this story celebrates Elvis and rock ‘n’ roll, the author also acknowledges the early singers who helped bring rock ‘n’ roll to the forefront and the rock ‘n’ roll musicians who came after Elvis.

Mark Alan Stamaty is the author and illustrator of the children’s books Who Needs Donuts? and Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq. The creator of the comic strip Boox, Stamaty lives in New York City.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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