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RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  42 reviews
From a creative team with multiple Caldecott Honors comes this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin that pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves.

Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father’s Detroit church where her soaring voice spanned more than three octav
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published August 25th 2020 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  91 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Chance Lee
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Gorgeous artwork with less-than-carefully constructed rhythmic text.

EDIT 9/25: I removed a star after realizing that the text yada-yada-yada's about 40 years of Aretha's life, jumping from 70s/80s to her big-ass be-ribboned hat she wore during Obama's inauguration, as if A ROSE IS STILL A ROSE never happened!!!
Abby Johnson
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, this picture book biography is stunning. From the carefully constructed rhyming couplets to the gorgeous oil painting illustrations, this is a queen of picture book biographies.
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Solid and gorgeous illustrations. Weaker text.
Biography for middle grades of an incredible woman.
Weatherford takes readers through portions of Aretha Franklin's life with large gaps between some pages.
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Absolutely gorgeous!!!
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Mediocre rhyme set to dazzling illustrations, each page a Frank Morrison masterpiece. Well worth reading if only to dissect the astounding artwork, truly breathtaking.
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful pictures and thought provoking verse. This will definitely be a stepping stone to searching for more information about Aretha Franklin's life.
Jessica Fitzpatrick
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a picture book that highlights the major points of the amazing Aretha Franklin’s life. The picture book touches on the milestones that impacted her life, especially in her early life in a way that is understandable for younger readers. The book exhibits the childhood and musical abilities that can help younger readers understand and make connections. It is mentioned throughout the book how Aretha and her father both fought for civil rights and shows the beauty and joy she felt s ...more
Roberta Gibson
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What happens when an award-winning author and illustrator pair decide to tell the story of a larger-than-life, awe-inspiring woman? The answer is a sublime picture book biography,  RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Frank Morrison.

Aretha Franklin was an astounding singer who led an amazing life. Her early training was in gospel music, where she honed her unique sound. When she switched to rhythm and blues her career took off, spanning many
Ben Truong
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul is a children's picture book written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Frank Morrison. It centers on the early beginnings and professional life of the prolific singer and activist.

Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, actress, pianist, and civil rights activist.

Weatherford's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, informative, and lyrical. Through rhymes, Weatherford presents an overview of key moments in the nota
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Told in a similar format to her signature song R-E-S-P-E-C-T, each double-page spread explores another important word in Franklin’s life. The book begins with her family’s move to Detroit and Aretha being raised in the middle of gospel and church. She is incredibly gifted musically, cutting her first gospel record at age 14. She becomes an R&B superstar, rising to the tops of the charts. She supports the civil rights movement with her voice, offering free concerts. She is there to sing President ...more
Zan Porter
rom a creative team with multiple Caldecott Honors comes this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin that pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves.

Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father's Detroit church where her soaring voice spanned more than three octaves.

Her string of hit songs earned her the title "the Queen of Soul," multiple Grammy Awards, and a place in the Rock & Roll Ha
Bryan Loar
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This absolutely beautiful picture book biography is a stunning tribute to Aretha Franklin. The lush, illustrative work of Frank Morrison (Let the Children March) combined with informative, but not overwhelming, passages by award-winning author, Carole Boston Weatherford (Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hammer), is impressive. Back matter includes a deeper look at Aretha's life and her biggest hits. A folded and gathered (F&G) pre-publication edition was reviewed. The book's official on-sale date is ...more
Dierric Rogers
This is probably hands down one of the best picture book biographies that I have read so far. The simplistic text is a great overview of Ms. Franklin's life for younger readers. I like the bold stand out words on each page. Frank Morrison did such a wonderful job on the art throughout the book, but my favorite would have to be the cover art. It just stands out. I would suggest this book for readers young and old.
Sep 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Possible contender for the Mock Caldecott Awards. I thought this was a lovely book and having been a huge Aretha Franklin fan when I was in high school made me enjoy it even more. I realize that a children's book should be just that...presented in a decisive, uncluttered format as this is but I was hoping for a little more information. I guess I just need to look for a more age appropriate book.
Elaine Fultz
Perfect amount of rhming text for its audience and magnificent artwork. Each spread begins with a word broken into letters in honor of r-e-s-p-e-c-t. "V - o -i -c -e: Aretha's voice resounds with color and clarity spanning three plus octaves the maestros all agree." This is a must for every biography collection. Plus how can we not load up an Aretha playlist after reading this. Imagine all the young people hearing her music for the first time.
Ilse O'Brien
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A stunning bio picture book. Frank Morrison's paintings are absolutely gorgeous and captivating. The interplay between text and image is masterful. I loved how the spelling out of R-E-S-P-E-C-T is mirrored in each spread. And the fact that every single line of the entire book rhymes is impressive. I hope the Sibert committee members have their eyes on this one.
Kathleen Rak
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This is an absolutely beautifully illustrated picture book biography about the life and art of Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul. From the cover on in, spelled out words on every spread and glorious illustrations not only tell the story, but fully encompass the reader and viewer. I am very hopeful about the award contention for this dynamic book.
Jo Oehrlein
Oct 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: music, picture-books
I like that it spells a word on each page.

However, I think it takes the R-E-S-P-E-C-T thing too far because there's a couplet on every page until the word and every line ends in the long E sound.

Does a good job telling Aretha's story, with a focus on her young life and then civil rights, then jumping to Obama's inauguration.

The illustrations are gorgeous.
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations. I like how the author has a word spelled out on each page like “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” I didn’t think there was enough information about her life given in the short rhyming couplets but it was expanded on in the author’s note. I did think it was weird that there seemed to be a big time jump right before the mention of Obama.
Annamarie Carlson
So beautiful! This biography of Aretha Franklin is visually stunning. The illustrations, the headers, type face, and framing of the text in words (spelled out RESPECT style) and rhyming couplets all blend together for a truly wonderful reading experience. I've been itching to plan a Little People, Big Dreams Aretha Franklin program, and this is most definitely going to be featured.
Lisa Burris
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fitting tribute to the Queen of Soul, this picture book not only teaches young readers about the life of Aretha Franklin, it also uses keywords to teach children how to read. With stunning illustrations, R-E-S-P-E-C-T is sure to be a hit.
The text is spartan but it leaves room to immerse yourself in the breathtaking artwork which does justice to Aretha soul and talent.

The message about her life is one of art and advocacy and it shows.
Sean Kottke
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Of the two Aretha Franklin picture books released this year, this is my favorite for the rich artwork and clever verse structure that plays off of the central spelling shout-out in Aretha's signature song.
Rebecca Plaza
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous package for the stellar story of Aretha Franklin, made more remarkable by this great looking book- Aretha would be proud! Young readers will enjoy the facts especially if shared with a soundtrack!
What a book! Love that this duo reunited on another music book. Weatherford's strong poetry works seamlessly with the outstanding illustrations.
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations in this one are a stand out.
Lisa D
Aug 25, 2020 added it
What an amazing beautiful biography of the legendary singer Aretha Franklin! The queen of souk! Loved it! This should win awards!
Pam  Page
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning book for a stunning woman. With Weatherford's style of lyrical text and one word prominent on each page, the reader watches Aretha grow into the talented artist she became.
Love this!!! The art, the spelling, the musicality of the rhyme. (I do, however, wish there was a little more meat to the end notes with further readings, maybe some pictures, etc.)
Syntha Green
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, nf
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Carole Boston Weatherford is a children's book author and poet who "mines the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles." A number of Weatherford's books tell the stories of African-American historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, Jesse Owens, and Billie Holiday. Other books recount historical events such as the Greensboro Sit-ins and the bombing of the Sixteenth Stree ...more

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