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Review of The Beatles Were Fab 
(and They Were Funny)

The Beatles Were Fab 
(and They Were Funny)
by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer; illus. by Stacy Innerst
Primary     Harcourt     40 pp.
3/13     978-0-547-50991-4      $16.99

Since the early sixties, the Beatles have defined the musical landscape of the world, influencing generations of listeners and musicians. Beatlemania, from its beginning in Liverpool to the band’s final public concert in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1966, gripped the world. Krull and Brewer tell the story not just of international superstars but of four friends who enjoyed a joke and made one another laugh. Jellybeans on the end pages set the stage for illustrations that bring the Fab Four alive as regular guys who are just a little bit surprised by their fame: a roller coaster (about to plunge down the edge of a giant guitar case) lets the reader know exactly what kind of thrilling ride this band was on. Drawn with exaggerated features, the lads are all legs and bowl-cut hair, with their ample noses serving to distinguish one from the others. Even Ed Sullivan, who is practically a caricature anyway, has that same leggy and oversized potato-head look — marking this as a lighthearted book, not the final word. Youngsters wondering why the band is still beloved by their parents and grandparents will understand after reading the many humorous anecdotes. The only thing missing is the actual music. Download some tunes or crank up the turntable to remind yourself just how fab these four really were. Sources and a timeline are appended.

From the May/June 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Robin Smith About Robin Smith

Robin Smith is a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a reviewer for Kirkus and The Horn Book Magazine and has served on multiple award committees.

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