A picture book celebration of the indomitable Muddy Waters, a blues musician whose fierce and electric sound laid the groundwork for what would become rock and roll.
Muddy Waters was never good at doing what he was told. When Grandma Della said the blues wouldn't put food on the table, Muddy didn't listen. And when record producers told him no one wanted to listen to a country boy playing country blues, Muddy ignored them as well. This tenacious streak carried Muddy from the hardscrabble fields of Mississippi to the smoky juke joints of Chicago and finally to a recording studio where a landmark record was made.
Soon the world fell in love with the tough spirit of Muddy Waters. In blues-infused prose and soulful illustrations, Michael Mahin and award-winning artist Evan Turk tell Muddy's fascinating and inspiring story of struggle, determination, and hope.
Reviews from Around the World
Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award - Evan Turk
Outstanding Nonfiction Book Award, Children's Literature Council, Southern California
A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2017
NPR's Best Books of 2017 List
New York Public Library's 2017 Best Books for Kids Top 10
Chicago Public Library's 2017 Best Books for Kids List
Center for the Study of Multicultural Literature's Best Books List 2017
"Windows and Mirrors" Selection by the New England Children's Booksellers Association
Parents' Choice Awards Gold Medal
California Reading Association Eureka! Nonfiction Children's Book Awards Gold Medal
Junior Library Guild Selection, Fall 2017
"The words and pictures here mix exuberance with melancholy. Mahin’s words have a beat all their own, capturing the lows and highs with poetic verve. Turk’s watercolor, ink, and collage artwork fills pages, exploding with a neon intensity—the equivalent of a dynamic guitar riff . . . Read the book, then get kids the music.” (Booklist) "This poetic celebration of Muddy Waters' musical truth is lifted still higher by Turk's extraordinary art.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Lyrically told with a lilting cadence by debut author Mahin. . . . Turk’s mixed-media illustrations leap off the page. . . . The soul of the blues sings out through the pages.” (School Library Journal)
“Like Waters’s music after landing in the Windy City, Turk’s artwork is electric—wild strokes of marker and oil pastel vibrate with energy. And Mahin’s equally vivid writing will almost certainly send readers after Waters’s catalogue.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Mahin’s text is engaging, rhythmic, soulful, and written to reflect the blues that influenced Muddy Waters. . . . Turk’s expressionistic mixed-media illustrations, many of them double-page spreads, aptly convey the emotions associated with Muddy Waters’s music.” (The Horn Book)