Kids' book author tells early story of Beatles to youngsters
August 19, 2015
The Beatles' music reaches across many generations. And that, author Susanna Reich says, was the motivation for writing the book “Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles,” a new biography of the Beatles published Aug. 18 that is aimed at young readers who are Beatles fans. And by starting in their young days, it gives kids something to relate to – that the Beatles weren't always adults.
"Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles" gives young readers the Beatles story.
“I chose to focus on the early years because it's a lesser-known part of Beatles' history, and also because I thought kids would be able to relate to the young John, Paul, George & Ringo,” she told Beatles Examiner. “I've been a Beatles fan since childhood, and because I write books for kids, I thought it would be fun to share my enthusiasm.”
The book begins with individual biographies of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, then describes how the band came together and made its first records for EMI. Ringo Starr's addition to the band comes next as the band becomes a world phenomenon. The book is illustrated with original paintings by Adam Gustavson.
“The songs are extraordinary and timeless; I hope each new generation will appreciate the music in its own way,” she said. “I hope, too, that the story will help kids understand how and why people become creative artists, and that the book will inspire kids to follow their own dreams. That's been a goal with all of my books.” “Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles” is available in hardback and in eBook form.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Susanna Reich
BEATLES INTRODUCED TO NEXT GENERATION OF FANS IN NEW PICTURE BOOK
Forty-five years after the Beatles broke up, their popularity remains undiminished, with 41.8
million “likes” on Facebook, 2.8 million Twitter followers, a ranking as the “most important
band” on Wikipedia* and the #1 spot on Rolling Stones’ list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Yet many kids today can’t even name the members of the group! Luckily, a new picture book
introduces John, Paul, George and Ringo to the next generation of music lovers, helping to
ensure the Beatles’ fame well into the 21st century.
Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry
Holt), by award-winning author Susanna Reich, illustrated by award-winning illustrator Adam
Gustavson, shines a spotlight on the Beatles’ earliest years, showing how four ordinary boys
from Liverpool became the bestselling band in history. Beginning with John Lennon’s birth in
the dark days of the Liverpool blitz, the book traces the Beatles’ roots through each boy’s
childhood and teen years. Evocative language and richly-detailed paintings tell the story of the
band from its earliest days as a skiffle group to its explosion onto the world stage.
"Fab Four Friends is the perfect introduction to the mythic pop band — a thoughtful
and delightful retelling that, like the Beatles, hits all the right notes.”
- Bob Spitz, Beatles biographer
It’s all here, from John and Paul’s meeting at St. Peter’s Church to George’s audition on a
double-decker bus and Ringo’s early love of the drums. Heady nights in Hamburg, sweaty
gigs in the Cavern Club, the adoration of hometown fans, the crush of being told that "guitar
groups are on the way out,” the thrill of Beatlemania—this ultimate rock ‘n’ roll story will appeal
to readers of all ages.
“A gorgeous love letter to an unforgettable band” - School Library Journal
Susanna Reich is the author of many books for children and young adults, including Minette’s
Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat, José! Born to Dance, Painting the Wild
Frontier: The Art and Adventures of George Catlin and Clara Schumann: Piano Virtuoso. Her
awards include the NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor, Tomás Rivera Award, International Latino Book
Award, ALA Notable, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and Best Books of the Year from
School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus, Scripps-Howard, the New York Public Library, CCBC,
Bank Street College and the Association of Booksellers for Children. A former Chair of the
Children's and Young Adult Book Committee of PEN American Center, she lives in Ossining,
New York, with her husband, children’s book author Gary Golio.
Adam Gustavson has illustrated more than twenty books for children, including Rock and Roll
Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story and The Yankee at the Seder, a Sydney Taylor Honor
book. Adam holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and teaches at the University of the
Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in New Jersey with his family and several guitars.
* Open Wikipedia Ranking, Laboratory for Web Algorithmics, University of Milan
Written by Susanna Reich
Illustrated by Adam Gustavson
Published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt
Glossary, end notes, author’s note, bibliography
August 18, 2015 • Ages 6-10 • 40 pages • $17.99 Hardcover