Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell by Selina Alko

jonimitchellJoni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell by Selina Alko; illustrated by Selina Alko. 2020. Published by Harper Collins Children’s Books.

Brief summary: Roberta Joan Anderson painted and played the piano as a child. At ten years old, she contracted polio but was still able to sing and write songs. As a high school student, Roberta  painted in addition to playing music on a ukulele  that she bought on her own after saving up money from modeling.

She moved several times in Canada and never lost her love of expressing herself through art. 

When she was in her early 20s, she married Chuck Mitchell and changed her name to Joni Mitchell. She now lived in America and began to write her own folk songs and performed them around the continent becoming more and more famous.

Comments: I always like to see a photograph in the back pages but there was not one included, however, there are a discography and an author’s note.

This is a very basic biography of Joni Mitchell’s life full of accomplishments.

This narrative nonfiction biography could be shared in music class, women’s history month, or a biography unit.  Students will really understand this iconic Canadian folk singer and songwriter if this book is paired with her live performances which truly capture her musicality and words that made her so well known in the 1960s and 1970s.

The detailed and montage illustrations capture the folklore style.

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