Review Blog

Nov 10 2014

Gus & Me: The Story of My Grandad and My First Guitar by Keith Richards

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Ill. by Theodora Richards. Orion Books, 2014. ISBN 9781444011760
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards' debut picture book draws from his cherished childhood memories. He explains how he gained his love for music and guitar playing. His much loved granddad, Theodore Augustus Dupree - Gus, who lived in a 'house filled with instruments and cake' was his inspiration.
Richards has written this picture book in an easy to read style, resonant with musical terms, alliterative and descriptive phrases. As they 'wandered skinny streets and smoky alleys' Gus would hum symphonies and tunes to Keith. When the young boy was taken to the London workshop, there is a real sense of wonder portrayed in the account of the making of the instruments. In the room with the conveyor belt of guitars and the bubbling buckets of glue, Keith falls in love with instruments.
Artist Theodora Richards, Keith's daughter has collaborated with her father to bring his story to life. She combines inked sketches, bold splashes of colour, repetitive handwritten words, and layered patterns in a unique and graphic style.
A bonus audio CD includes photographs from the Richards family collection and an inspirational tribute to Gus, as Keith plays the complex instrumental Malaguena.
This picture is recommended for readers from 6 years of age and for fans of the Keith Richards.
Rhyllis Bignell

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