Elvis Presley

Frances Lincoln. (Little People, Big Dreams). May 2022. 32p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780711270879.
K-Gr 3–This title in the “Little People, Big Dreams” series offers an introduction to Elvis Presley, attempting to address questions of race in the history of rock and roll. The book opens with Presley’s modest upbringing in rural Mississippi and continues on to his discovery of a love of music as an adolescent in Memphis, building to his music and film careers. Albero’s illustrations follow the series format: they are simple and clean with mostly full-color spreads. Sanchez-Vegara emphasizes Presley’s appreciation for both the country music of his (white) childhood and the blues music of his (Black) neighbors, and how he melded the two. However, despite a general statement that “at that time, his country had unfair rules that separated people by the color of their skin,” racial terms are never made explicit, and a blatant “color-blind” theme pervades the book—“for Elvis, music had no color.” This simplified approach to racism for a young audiences greatly waters down the topic.
VERDICT While this book serves as an informative introduction to the life of Presley and the legacy of his music, educators seeking a more complex exploration of his relationship to race can provide young readers with Elvis by Bonnie Christensen.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing