John's Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon

John's Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon

by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier
     
 

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John Lennon's influence on music and culture is legendary. From a young age, he dreamed of fame and fortune. When he achieved it as one of the Beatles, he recognized the need for a deeper meaning. His inner search for happiness shaped his life and brought new dimension to the world of rock 'n' roll.

Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier present John Lennon's life

Overview

John Lennon's influence on music and culture is legendary. From a young age, he dreamed of fame and fortune. When he achieved it as one of the Beatles, he recognized the need for a deeper meaning. His inner search for happiness shaped his life and brought new dimension to the world of rock 'n' roll.

Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier present John Lennon's life through a combination of narrative and song lyrics, cut-paper collage and watercolor art-capturing the energy and the essence of a man whose vision and creative genius continue to inspire people today.

Praise for the Big Words series:

John's Secret Dreams"

This beautiful and stirring tribute will surely send readers to bookshelves and the music stores to learn more about the man." -School Library Journal

Martin's Big Words
-2002 Caldecott Honor Book
-2002 Coretta Scott King Honor Book
-Child Magazine Best Book of 2001
-New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2001

* "A stunning, reverent tribute."
-School Library Journal, starred review

Abe's Honest Words
* "Exceptional art, along with Rappaport's and Lincoln's words, makes this a fine celebration of a man who needs little introduction."
-Booklist, starred review


Eleanor, Quiet No More
* "Once again Rappaport celebrates a noble, heroic life in powerful, succinct prose, with prominent, well-chosen, and judiciously placed quotes that both instruct and inspire...Celebrate women in history and in politics with this picture-book life."
-School Library Journal, starred review


Helen's Big World
* "Stirring and awe-inspiring."
-The Horn Book, starred review

To Dare Mighty Things
* "[T]his lavish picture-book biography deftly captures the legendary man's bold, exuberant nature. . . . A truly inspiring tribute to a seemingly larger-than-life U.S. president."
-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Theodore Roosevelt's big ideas and big personality come together in this splendid picture-book biography."
-Booklist, starred review

* "Concisely written and yet poetic, this is a first purchase for every library."
-School Library Journal, starred review

Editorial Reviews

Using a combination of narrative, song lyrics, cut-paper collage, and radiant watercolor art, Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier have successfully evoked the life and utopian message of singer/songwriter John Lennon. As in their award-winning Martin Luther King biography, the authors capture the essence of a man whose tragic death only underlines the significance of his life. A wondrous trip through the life of a peacemaker.
Children's Literature
In their second collaboration, Rappaport and Collier merge image and word to relate the life and dreams of John Lennon. Rappaport arranges salient facts of John's central life events in free-verse lines that are sometimes spare and other times sing with rhythms that measure the fullness of Lennon's life. Throughout are Collier's '60s-style circles that illustrate events in John's life and imagery from his songs. Through words and pictures we view the sadness and loneliness of a young artistic boy who, deserted by his mother, retreated into a secret world of self-made stories, and we see the magical nature of John's music. These random elements weave in and out, creating patterns that are a textural tour of John's contributions to music, culture and peace. 2004, Hyperion, Ages 7 to 12.
—Susie Wilde
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Using a combination of simple prose, song lyrics, and illustration, this heartfelt picture-book biography traces Lennon's life from his childhood to his death. Striking in both its simplicity and complexity, it captures this enigmatic singer, artist, songwriter, and folk hero in a way that will move and fascinate those too young to remember the man but are surrounded by his music and myth. Collier's remarkable illustrations begin on the cover from which Lennon's emotionless face stares out from behind his trademark granny glasses. Inside the book, soft pastel circles appear everywhere. On some spreads, they are on the sidebars on which the text rests, accompanying an illustration. On others, they overtake the pages-sometimes as simple circles and other times incorporating themselves into the collage artwork, becoming records, or orange slices, or flashbulbs. Alternatively they trace over the illustrations, giving them a dreamlike appearance and reinforcing and celebrating Lennon's messages as his hopes for the world. Rappaport's text portrays him as a creative and tortured soul, referring only casually to his more controversial actions. His death is described simply as "murder" with no further details. His wishes for world peace and tolerance are reflected in most of the lyrics selected. This beautiful and stirring tribute will surely send readers to bookshelves and the music stores to learn more about the man.-Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In their latest collaboration, Rappaport and Collier combine a spare, poetic text and watercolor-and-collage illustrations to introduce readers to John Lennon and as varied references as Lewis Carroll, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the war in Vietnam, and the civil-rights movement. The bright art bursts forth as pages are turned, and the busyness of the illustrations matches the frenetic tours of the Beatles. However, the circle motif in the illustrations seems overdone, creating clutter and ambiguity, while the prose style seems wrong for conveying the weighty ideas of the text. It's not clear, for example, what young readers will make of unexplained references to John's taking drugs, staging a "bed-in" for peace, divorcing his wife to marry Yoko Ono, and studying meditation to find inner peace. A lively, if unusual, take on the pop-culture icon, whose music is as fresh today as it was then. (author's note, illustrator's note, important dates, discography, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. All ages)
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR MARTIN'S BIG WORDS

-2002 Caldecott Honor Book
-2002 Coretta Scott King Honor Book
-Child Magazine Best Book of 2001
-New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2001— "

This beautiful and stirring tribute will surely send readers to bookshelves and the music stores to learn more about the man."—School Library Journal

PRAISE FOR TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS

* "[T]his lavish picture-book biography deftly captures the legendary man's bold, exuberant nature. . . . A truly inspiring tribute to a seemingly larger-than-life U.S. president."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

PRAISE FOR HELEN'S BIG WORLD

* "Stirring and awe-inspiring."—The Horn Book, starred review

PRAISE FOR TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS

* "Theodore Roosevelt's big ideas and big personality come together in this splendid picture-book biography."—Booklist, starred review

PRAISE FOR TO DARE MIGHTY THINGS

* "Concisely written and yet poetic, this is a first purchase for every library."—School Library Journal, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786808175
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
10/01/2004
Series:
Big Words Series
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
10.25(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Doreen Rappaport's nonfiction and historical fiction books have been acclaimed for their meticulous research and varied literary styles. She is the recipient of the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild lifetime achievement award for the writing of nonfiction. Among her many award-winning biographies are Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., illustrated by Bryan Collier, a Caldecott Honor Book, Coretta Scott King Honor Book, Orbis Pictus Honor Book, and a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner; Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, a CCBC Best Book of the Year and an IRA Teacher's Choice; and Helen's Big World, illustrated by Matt Tavares, an ALA Notable Book for Middle Readers, CCBC Best Book of the Year, and an Oppenheim SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Products) Award winner. She lives and writes in upstate New York. Visit her at www.doreenrappaport.com.

Bryan Collier, a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal and a three-time recipient of the Caldecott Honor, has illustrated more than twenty-five picture books, including Uptown, Martin's Big Words, Rosa, Dave the Potter, and Knock Knock. He lives in upstate New York with his family. Visit Bryan online at byrancollier.com.

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