Little People, Big Dreams: Stevie Wonder; Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Melissa Lee Johnson
Stevie Wonder is one of my favourite musicians so I was thrilled to learn that he was to be the latest star addition to the Little People, Big Dreams series.
Imagine going blind after only a few days on planet earth. Well, this is exactly what happened to Little Stevie Wonder, but as one sense was failing his others were awakening and they would be more alive than ever. Stevie had funk and soul running through his veins and the world wouldn’t have to wait long to hear his talents…
Despite becoming blind after only a handful of days on earth, Stevie Wonder became one of the legends of the music industry. From banging on pots and pans as a young child to signing his first professional music contract at just eleven years old. Tours would follow, as would chart top hitting hits and a career that would span the decades.
Stevie was not only a brilliant musician. He was a valued and active member of his community and worked to improve the lives of other with disabilities. His songs were often inspired by his own personal experiences and this often shines through in the words he uses and the passion he has for his songs that can bring a room alive. His music just seems to get better with age and I will never grow tired of listening to his songs. Whether it be the groove of ‘Superstition', the joy and happiness that exudes from ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ that was written about the birth of his daughter Aisha, or celebrating a birthday with his classic hit ‘Happy Birthday’ blissfully playing in the background.
Like a lot of people I knew a little about Stevie Wonder but I really liked learning about other snippets of his life from the book. I loved the anecdotes about the origins of his song “Happy Birthday’ and the links to the wants of his community and Martin Luther King Junior. I also hope that the story about his awakening from injuries sustained in a car accident and tapping his fingers along to the gospel song which was being sung by his friend is accurate - I would love to know which song this was and if he ever recorded it.
Delightfully illustrated with bright and bold artwork and with a story told in short and simple sentences, this is a truly inspirational read that proves that a disability is no barrier to success. At the back of the the book there is a short overview of his life so far which includes key facts and dates and a historical timeline featuring photographs.
Recommended for 5+.
Due for publication on 2nd February 2021. With thanks to Netgalley and Frances Lincoln Publishers for the ARC.