Meloy, Colin. Golden Thread, The: A Song for Pete Seeger. Nikki McClure, Illus. Biography. Balzer & Bray, 04/2018. pp. $18.99. 978-0-06-236825-6. OUTSTANDING. GRADES K-3.
Author and musician Colin Meloy (The Wildwood Chronicles) and illustrator Nikki McClure (Waiting for High Tide) collaborate on a picture book biography in folksy verse of the long and remarkable life of Pete Seeger. McClure’s cut-paper illustrations use just three colors and often weave Seeger’s lyrics into the artwork. The vitality of her compositions pulls readers forward through a life thoroughly lived. The book is all of a piece down to the typography. If there are moments where the flow of the verse clunks, it seems unlikely that this would have offended the book’s subject. It’s a fitting tribute which brings Seeger’s work, concerns, and struggles to life for young readers. The verse tumbles along best when read aloud, and the illustrations also read well from a distance; definitely pair a reading of this book with listening to Seeger’s music. Back matter includes a timeline of Seeger’s life which modestly expands on subjects brought up in the text, such as the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) hearings and the blacklist that followed. A discography of recommended entry points into Seeger’s work is included for the uninitiated.
Emma Coleman, Berkeley Public Library