HarperCollins Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell
HarperCollins Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell

Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell

By Selina Alko


Publication Date: February 25, 2020

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Ages 4 to 8, Grades P to 3


A stunning picture book celebration of the life and times of folk singer Joni Mitchell, with gorgeous mixed-media art and poetic words by Selina Alko


“Colors burst across each page, with layers of collage-work emphasizing the richness of Mitchell’s influences and imagination…Will speak to readers just starting their own exploration of artistic expression.” –Booklist *(starred review)*


Celebrate the captivating life of Joni Mitchell, the world-famous songbird who used her music to ignite and inspire an entire generation, in this stunning picture book biography from award-winning author and illustrator Selina Alko.


Joni Mitchell painted with words.


Sitting at her piano or strumming the guitar, she turned the words into songs.


The songs were like brushstrokes on a canvas, saying things that were not only happy or sad but true.


But before composing more than two hundred songs, Joni was a young girl from a town on the Canadian prairie, where she learned to love dancing, painting, birdsong, and piano. As she grew up into an artist, Joni took her strong feelings—feelings of love and frustration, the pain of having polio, and the turbulence that came with being a young woman—and wrote them into vivid songs.


For her fans, few things compare with singing along to a Joni song—listening for the poetry in her music and lyrics and feeling their own connection to her strong and truthful voice.


Brought to life by Selina Alko’s rainbow collages and lyrical language, this heartfelt portrait of a feminist and folk icon is perfect for parents, children, and music lovers everywhere.


Back matter includes a letter from Selina Alko (who, like Joni, grew up in Canada) and Joni’s full discography.


“An inspired and creative ode to the inimitable Joni Mitchell.” –Kirkus Reviews


“Layered mixed-media collages featuring cut paper, found images, and colorful smears of paint effectively evoke the richly rendered emotional landscapes of Mitchell’s songwriting.” –Publishers Weekly


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