What happens when an award-winning author and illustrator pair decide to tell the story of a larger-than-life, awe-inspiring woman? The answer is a sublime picture book biography, RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Frank Morrison.
Aretha Franklin was an astounding singer who led an amazing life. Her early training was in gospel music, where she honed her unique sound. When she switched to rhythm and blues her career took off, spanning many years with a long series of hits. Aretha’s incredible voice makes you want to stand up, to cheer, to dance, and to take action.
The creative format of the book both captures and celebrates her spirit. Each double-paged spread shouts out one word that encapsulates an idea from Aretha Franklin’s life by spelling it out in capitals the same way she spells out the word in her song R-E-S-P-E-C-T. The word is followed by two lines of rhyming text that tell her story.
Aretha finds her groove when she’s rocking R&B.
No woman of her time has more cart-toppers than she.
As for the illustrations, Frank Morrison’s use of a warm color pallet reflects the loving , admiring tone of the text. You get the idea in this book trailer.
In the back matter (of course there is back matter!), an extensive “Author’s Note” delves more deeply into Aretha’s life and there’s also a list of her hit titles.
RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul introduces young readers to an incredible singer and person. It will appeal to budding musicians and history buffs alike. E-N-J-O-Y a copy today!
After reading the book, listen to some of Aretha Franklin’s music, for example like in this video from YouTube.
Grade Level : Preschool – 3
Publisher : Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Illustrated Edition (August 25, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 1534452281
ISBN-13 : 978-1534452282
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Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.