Tuesday, September 16, 2014
The Man in Black
Recently we went to a book festival in our city and heard the writer G. Neri describe the process of writing his new picture book about Johnny Cash's early life and the beginning of his career in music. Neri tells the story in free-verse poems that are laid out on the page like song lyrics on the back of a record cover facing A.G. Ford's rich illustrations that could be the front of the album. (Neri's other books [which I have not read] are for older kids, and I wouldn't have necessarily thought before reading this that Johnny Cash's life was picture-book material, but this is appropriate for ages 7 and up.) N. was mesmerized by Neri's account of Cash and Neri's own path as he researched Cash's story. We bought the book and Neri signed it for N., which N. thought was just about the coolest thing ever. This was the first time he'd met an author (of a children's book, I should say -- he's met many authors of scholarly books, and indeed lives with one, but that's hardly as cool)!