Book Review of Guitar Genius
The Children’s Book Review
Written by Kim Tomsic
Illustrated by Brett Helquist
Age Range 5-8 | 56 Pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books | ISBN: 978-1452159195
What to expect: Les Paul, guitars, music, inventions
Get ready to rock to the modern beat of Les Paul and his amazing invention – the electric guitar!
Les Paul, famous for engineering the solid-body electric guitar, was once just a kid with a dream. He loved music and sounds, and he loved how they all went together. But little Lester, as he was known then, was told by his music teacher that he didn’t have any real talent, and he’d never be a musician. But Lester loved music anyway.
Thanks to the unwavering belief of his supportive mother and family, Lester kept at it. First, he created a radio using an old oatmeal can and his bedsprings. Then, he saved up his money and bought his very own guitar. He was terrible at first, but over time (and endless hours practicing and experimenting) he became good. He became so good, in fact, that he was asked to play on the radio. From there, the sky was the limit.
He kept inventing, and he kept practicing until he created one of the most iconic instruments in today’s modern music – the solid-body electric guitar. Along the way, he invented endless contraptions, including sound recorders, and special techniques that revolutionized today’s music industry.
Les Paul, as he became known, was a passionate musician and inventor who never gave up. Following his life’s story is inspiring for children of all ages, whether or not they play a musical instrument. Nothing stopped Les Paul from following his ear, his dreams or his heart. He had a vision, and he kept at it until he achieved what seemed impossible.
With an easy-to-follow narrative and just the right amount of facts, GUITAR GENIUS reads easily and grabs children’s interest. Those kids who love music will be especially intrigued by his inventions and the detailed drawings that bring his abstract concepts to life. Author Kim Tomsic keeps the narrative flowing, making this an excellent read-aloud in a classroom or library. At the same time, the fun and lively illustrations make this a great book to have up-close.
Guitar Genius would make a wonderful gift for any budding musician or inventing enthusiast!
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About the Author
Kim Tomsic is the mother of two children and divides her time between Boulder, Colorado, and Scottsdale, Arizona. She serves on the board of her father’s charity (Friends of Haiti) and is the Co-Regional Advisor of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
About the Illustrator
Brett Helquist’s celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.
Guitar Genius, written by Kim Tomsic, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Guitar Genius by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Music, Nonfiction, and Inventions.