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Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 8 months ago

4 April 2021 IN MY LIFE by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, illustrated by Genevieve Santos, Simon & Schuster/Little Simon, February 2021, 40p., ISBN: 978-1-5344-6585-5


“I’ve just seen a face

I can’t forget the time or place

Where we just met

She’s just the girl for me

And I want all the world to see

We’ve met, mm-mm-mm-m’mm-mm”


So begins the North American version of The Beatles’ 1965 Rubber Soul album, on which the song “In My Life” is included. The then-brand-spanking-new LP was the highlight of my Christmas that year, along with a new portable record player and a copy of the soundtrack from The Beatles’ recent Help! movie.


This illustrated version of IN MY LIFE is a great excuse for teachers, librarians, and grandparents to turn kids on to The Beatles, whose work and influence upon American culture is essential twentieth century history. For those of us who lived in and through Beatlemania, The Beatles helped define our generation. 


I don’t know what portion of the country or the world can play “In My Life,” note to note, beginning to end, in their heads, but I know there are a lot of us. 56 years later, this song remains magical and meaningful. It’s among the most memorable of John Lennon’s lyrics.


Illustrator Genevieve Santos utilizes the song’s lyrics as accompaniment to the tale of a young girl who grows up experiencing, and later recalling, the time she spends with her mom, grandma, and big sister, living at the seashore when she is a little kid. Ultimately, the young girl grows up, has a little girl of her own, and brings the child to the family retreat on the coast where her mother has now become Grandma.


No question, the best way to present this book is a simple multimedia experience: Play the song as accompaniment to your turning the pages. You will need to take some time to rehearse and get used to the rhythm. There are even a couple of wordless pages in the middle, corresponding with the instrumental break in the middle of the song.


The watercolor and ink illustrations feature soft shades of blue, green, and yellow, with some white space. They remind me of that washed-out, floaty feeling you experience at the end of a long day of playing at the coast. 


IN MY LIFE is a lovely book.


Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com






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