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14:14 PB ELEMENTS – The Beatles Were Fab – CHARACTER

February 26, 2015

I remember the day, coming home from church. Dad turned on the radio in our red Ford Galaxy 500. We sat there in our skinny black ties, hearing music we’d never heard before. “Who’s that?” we asked. “Just a bunch of long haired hippies the communists are sending over to ruin our country,” Dad said. It was our first exposure to “The Fab Four.”

The Beatles Were FabThe Beatles Were Fab
authors Kathleen Krull
& Paul Brewer
illustrator Stacy Innerst

(c) 2012,
Harcourt Children’s Books

(1,924 words, AR Reading Level 4.8)

This is a fun book between jelly-bean end pages. Rich illustration by Stacy Innerst accompanies the story of the Fab Four, those famous boys from Liverpool who changed the sound of modern music with not only their tunes, but their characters.

After reading this story, I wonder if they’d had to depend only on music, whether they would have had the impact they are famous for. Television and radio, through the the power of airwaves, revealed so much of their individual character as their popularity spread.  Character is what made them ‘fabulous’ as much, if not more, than their music.

Krull and Brewer reveal who they were in this delightful account, with a focus on their humor and their ability to make people laugh.

“From the time they got together as lads until they became superstars, the Fab Four made music, made history, and made people laugh.”

The story shows their determination, their hard work, their confidence.  Always, it seems, flavored by humor. When they first performed for the Royal Family,

“John invited the main-floor audience to clap along. Then he peered up at the dignified royal family in the box seats. ‘And the rest of you, if you just rattle your jewelry.”  Everyone giggled–even the Queen Mother.”

Two spreads offer questions reporters would often ask, a page each for John, Paul, Ringo, and George. Their quick answers show their wit:

Q: How did you find America?
Ringo: We went to Greenland and made a left turn.

Certainly the ‘fab’ in fabulous describes much about the Beatles, but it’s more than just the music, and this books makes that clear for a generation of children who have no idea who they really were, and what they meant to my generation and musical history.

Only a few years after listening to my first Beatles song on the car radio, I had full-sized posters of those long-haired hippies on my bedroom walls, and I was strumming their tunes on my own guitar.

And, of course, I was smiling.

(See a list of other reviewers’ posts in Christi’s latest post at Write Wild.)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. ManjuBeth permalink
    February 26, 2015 10:24 am

    Last summer, I watched A Hard Day’s Night in a movie theater. And all four boys from Liverpool are Characters who sing.

  2. February 26, 2015 11:54 am

    Thanks for sharing Damon! I will have to read this one for sure. And just think, my mother didn’t want us listening to them…crazy!

  3. February 26, 2015 1:48 pm

    All you need is love! Fab review!

  4. February 26, 2015 6:08 pm

    I’m curious what kids would think of the book if they do not know the music. Also curious how they chose where/how to end the book …

    • February 26, 2015 8:24 pm

      Katie, my review didn’t cover the ending, but the book did complete the story with the last concert being the factor that led to no more concerts, and the group retreating to only studio produced music. Then followed the breakup and the members going their own way. Although the story didn’t go into history after that, a timeline in the back-matter pages told about John Lennon’s and George Harrison’s deaths.

    • February 28, 2015 5:18 pm

      I was wondering the same thing.

  5. Christie Wright Wild permalink
    February 26, 2015 9:47 pm

    What a great book! I’d never heard of this one. Now I really want to read it!!!

  6. February 28, 2015 5:19 pm

    This book is over two years old and I didn’t know it existed! thanks for sharing.

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