Krull (Songs of Praise) presents a personal and affectionate paean to 21 male and three female rock legends, whom she labels "bright icons who changed the old ways and brought in the new." A spread is devoted to each of the stars (save the Beatles, who get two), introduced chronologically by birth year-from Elvis to Kurt Cobain. Krull selects some telling details (one of which recurs: Elvis wanted a bicycle for his 10th birthday, and his parents "got him a cheap guitar instead," while Cobain's uncle offered him a choice of a guitar or a bicycle for his 14th birthday, and the teen "took the cheap, secondhand guitar"). Each capsule chronicle of the musician's career faces one of Alcorn's (Let It Shine) full-page, polychrome relief-block print portraits. The author's informal narrative provides some insight into the performers' inspirations, onstage antics and professional milestones, yet a few statements are a bit silly (she writes of Ringo Starr, "with his oversized nose-you just wanted to take him home") or contrived (finding material "within himself," Bob Dylan "would toss off brilliant observations, mysterious, with multiple meanings, gems of genius to go blowing in the wind," she asserts, without lyrics to offer up as examples). Alcorn's stylized, symbol-filled portrayals of the musicians are most effective for 1960s performers such as Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and reggae legend Bob Marley; his fractured portrait of Kurt Cobain is also memorable. Although this introduction is spotty, the design is enticing, and a concluding list of further reading suggestions, Web sites and landmark recordings may inspire fans to do more research. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Gr 5-8-Concise, single-page entries chronicle the accomplishments of 24 icons of the rock stage. Krull has chosen the most influential of subjects-entertainers who added elements of rhythm and harmony, innovators of instrumentation, and commentators on contemporary life. Biographical sketches, from Elvis (b. 1935) to Kurt Cobain (b. 1967), include the controversies of public and private lives without sensationalizing. Each entry is paired with one of Alcorn's inspired, eye-catching illustrations. Startling pop-art portraits in polychrome relief-block prints with folk and religious motifs face text in varying colors and fonts, while a thumbnail representation of each portrait decorates the cover. Krull's work recognizes the impact of the art without judging the sometimes antisocial actions of the artists. This slim volume will rock the research of younger music enthusiasts.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Krull takes her remarkable gift for witty, brief, and incisive biography to new heights in this compendium. Most of the artists get a single page (the Beatles get more) facing one of Alcorn's fabulous polychrome relief-block prints. Her choices are sound: Elvis to Kurt Cobain, and a host of people who only need one name: Dylan, Jimi, Janis, Joni, Santana, Bono, Bruce. She captures the essence of their music in ways that will send young readers to their parents' or grandparents' music collections (a fine list of sources includes a book, a Web site, and a CD for each artist). Alcorn's dramatic images use the texture inherent in his medium to make beautiful contrasts of patterns, and color creates almost psychedelic light-and-dark effects. He uses iconic imagery brilliantly: showing Bono with a sword and a halo; Cobain as a broken mirror. Readers will be sobered to see just how many of the dead rock stars died because of drug use, but Krull never equates their creativity with their excesses. (Biography. 9+)