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Shake, Rattle & Turn That Noise Down!: How…

Shake, Rattle & Turn That Noise Down!: How Elvis Shook Up Music, Me & Mom

by Mark Alan Stamaty

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493369,545 (4.04)2
Recounts the author's childhood determination to emulate Elvis Presley after being inspired by the iconic artist's music, describing how he drove his mother crazy while perfecting his Elvis-style dancing and singing before performing in a talent show.



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At first I thought "a picture book about Elvis?? Do kids even care about Elvis?" But this turns out to be a graphic novel about how music changed the author's life as a boy, specifically the birth of rock and roll and and especially Elvis Presley's talent. He makes it a personal and funny story: his mother can't stand Elvis' music, he does his hair up like Elvis and practices "air" performances in his bedroom with a tennis racket. The best part is his air performance at the Cub Scout dinner. By now readers will want to see his much-hyped 4th grade class picture, and the author doesn't disappoint, providing the story after the story. Like the spirit of early rock and roll, the pictures and text are bold, big, noisy and fill every page. Very fun. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
In Stamaty’s autobiographical comic/picture book, he tells the story of how Elvis changed the course of his life. The story starts in 1955 when Mark receives his own radio to put in his room, which at the time was a big deal. About a year later he first hears Elvis on the radio and falls in love, but his mom rushes up in a fit yelling “that’s the wailing of a lunatic.” Just about every child will experienced a similar reaction from an adult in their life and laugh out loud at her over reaction. In the end Mark’s mom gives in and he is allowed to listen to Elvis and start on the path to impersonating his idol. The story itself is catchy, but the hilarious illustrations and use of text make the story impossible to put down. Specifically the portrayal of the radio is great, with the music flowing out of it in a phonetic garble of letters rather than just plain song lyrics. The book also gives a bird’s eye view into a middle class child’s experience of the 1950s and could be a supplementary material for history class. Any child would love this endearing story and perhaps be opened up to the further possibility of biographical literature. Highly Recommended. ( )
  lcaitday | Nov 18, 2013 |
Reason for Reading: I entered a contest the author was running for a free copy because the book sounded so cool. I never heard back, knowing I'd not won, and honestly, forgot about the book when six months later I received a cool letter in the mail from the author with a postcard and an original drawing he'd made. I just had to read it after that!

This is truly an amazing book and story that kids and their parents will love and their grand-parents may love even more! I think it's integral to the enjoyment that the child be aware of who Elvis is both through hearing his music and having seen footage of him performing to get the full effect of the story.

The book starts with showing some difference in home life from 1955 and now and to emphasize how excited the author was to receive a radio for his birthday. How pleased his mother was to walk past his room and hear lovely band music coming from it until one day later the next year Elvis hit the airwaves and turned Mark onto the new music scene of "rock and roll". Well, mother flips out from the screeching noise emitting from the radio and we see the comparison in all our lives through ages of parents thinking that their children's music is noise compared to what they listed to as children themselves. Mark takes it a step further and combs his hair Elvis style and learns all his dance moves and words to his songs until eventually his Cub Pack puts on a skit at an annual dinner and they ask their resident Elvis to perform. The end of the book has some photographs of the author as a child and performing at the event as well as of him now turning into an Elvis impersonator.

The book is a lot of fun with some actual laugh out loud moments. This is one that truly will be enjoyed by all ages. I imagine grandparents reading it to grandchildren will especially bond over the book. This is a must have for the classroom and the library. The graphic design of the book is appealing as well. Much of the book uses narrator style rectangles within frames with bubbles showing up here and there. He also has flowing rivers filled with lyrics or music notes emanating from radios and record players to denote music. The lettering is very large caps throughout with the occasional stylized word here and there. Stamaty's drawing style is eye-catching with his people not being quite proportional they look a bit short and squat with big heads. This disproportion is only slightly off so it only gives his characters just that extra bit of interest. I really enjoy the style.

While the story is a lot of fun and kid's will relate to little Mark's feelings of parental frustration, idol worship and later performance anxiety it also contains quite a lot of information on the history of rock and roll: who the early pioneers were and how it was different from what came before. This is a keeper! ( )
  ElizaJane | May 20, 2010 |
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