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Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell painted with words. Sitting at her piano or strumming the guitar, she turned the words into songs. The songs were like brushstrokes on a canvas, saying things that were not only happy or sad but true.

But before composing more than two hundred songs, Joni was a young girl from a town on the Canadian prairie, where she learned to love dancing, painting, birdsong, and piano. As she grew up into an artist, Joni took her strong feelings — feelings of love and frustration, and the turbulence that came with being a young woman — and wrote them into vivid songs.

Brought to life by Selina Alko's rainbow collages and lyrical language, this is a heartfelt portrait of a world-famous feminist and folk icon who used her music to ignite and inspire an entire generation. Alko includes an author's note in the backmatter, as well as a full discography, so that those new to Mitchell's music can explore it with ease. This stunning picture book is perfect for parents, children, and music lovers everywhere.

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"Alko follows Mitchell’s life from her childhood in small-town Canada (she felt 'like an upside-down bird on a wire') to her bout with polio ('she wished she could kick and scream') and later relationships ('she fell in and out of love and cried all the time'). Portrayals of her professional life also focus on feel (regarding negative reactions to her album Mingus, 'Joni didn’t care.'). Layered mixed-media collages featuring cut paper, found images, and colorful smears of paint effectively evoke the richly rendered emotional landscapes of Mitchell’s songwriting." — Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Recommended Age 6 - 9
Author Selina Alko
Illustrator Selina Alko
ISBN 0062671294
Publication Date Feb 25, 2020
Publisher HarperCollins
Language English