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Parents' Guide to

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Dazzling art captures Aretha's career and activism.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul Poster Image

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This dazzling take on Franklin's life tells her story in gorgeous paintings and spare couplets that sweep readers up in a world of love, music, joy, civil rights activism, and religious spirit. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul features many close-ups, like of her strong hands playing the piano or her intense face as she sings at a microphone. The backdrop of her era is well done, too, with civil rights demonstrations portrayed in black-and-white, in stark contrast to the book's other vibrant colors, with famous figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Harry Belafonte shown but not mentioned in the text.

The author keeps up the motif used in her famous song "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" by spelling-out themes on the spreads like "B-L-E-S-S-E-D" on a picture of young Aretha praying, or "V-O-I-C-E" when she's in the recording studio, or "P-R-O-U-D" at Obama's inauguration, where she sings "My Country 'Tis of Thee." This is a poetic, artistic tribute to the Queen of Soul.

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