Sunday, September 16, 2018

Yellow Submarine

The Beatles. Yellow Submarine
June 12th 2018 by Candlewick Press
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central

Twice upon a time, once in 1968 and once today, there was an unearthly paradise called Pepperland. In an elaboration on their famous song, the Beatles and a team of talented artists, musicians and vocalists put together a movie version filled with the groups' trademark word play, humor and psychedelic imagery. When the Chief Blue Meanie, who doesn't like music, brings gloom and doom to the land by removing Sergeant Pepper's band and all the music, it is up to Captain Fred to board the Yellow Submarine and get help. He ends up in Liverpool, where he meets the Beatles, whom he persuades to help by referencing many of their song lyrics. Together, they face a variety of foes, from the suckophant to the Nowhere Man, eventually making it back to Pepperland to battle the Blue Meanies and bring love and music back to the people.

Even though it has been fifty years since Yellow Submarine premiered, it's still possible to get Yellow Submarine Legos, action figures, and shower curtains! My own children listened to the Beatles a lot when they were young, and this song and movie were always high on their list of favorites! While the people who are today introducing this music and story to younger readers are most likely grandparents, I can still see there being a lot of intergenerational love for this now classic tale.

The book, styled on Heinz Edelmann's illustrations, is brightly illustrated and will be very familiar, even if the story is not. As many times as my children watched the movie, I never did, so it was interesting to catch up with what went on! The Monty Python-esque clip art feel is maintained in the book, with the background art being rendered in more subdued colors than the characters, and there is a nicely representative sample of famous scenes from the movie.

It's almost too bad that there aren't side notes for some of the jokes; like Alice in Wonderland, there is another level to the text that younger readers won't quite understand. The story is still a positive one, which will resonate all the more in today's climate. While love might not be all that we need, it certainly is a good place to start.

1 comment:

  1. The movie's worth watching, especially as a grownup so as to catch all the puns. Our daughter has played our Beatles # 1 songs cd so much that she's memorized the order of the songs. (we used to do the same with the old Beatles albums)