Grand Times Reading: Willie and Carol – A Review

By Heidi Frankel
December 22, 2022

There is no better gift for any occasion than the gift of reading. Check out these books about two icons — Willie Nelson and Carol Burnett.


Willie Nelson, A Little Golden Book Biography

Written by Geoff Smith | Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler | Review by Kenna Watters

Willie Nelson is a household name for many, having been a significant part of American culture decade after decade. Children know of him at an early age as mom and dad listen to the radio or their collection of CDs.

Many people think of Nelson as a trail-blazing country singer and leave it at that. But there is so much more to who he was and what he stood for over the years.

The entire family will enjoy this children’s biography as it walks through Nelson’s childhood, raised by his grandparents through the depression, and how music, poetry, and eventually songwriting came into his life when he was only five years old.

Nelson’s exposure to various genres of music early in his life helped cultivate his unique and original style. He wandered through the music industry to find his place, from starting a band with his sister to writing songs for other famous musicians and playing at the White House.

Through these experiences, we learn how he struggled to fit in, and once he found his home in Austin, Texas, he became one of the most famous musicians and could live his truth.

Beyond his incredible music career, he was and is quite the activist! Growing up on a farm, he knew the vital role of farmers in America. He single-handedly organized a huge concert to benefit American farmers that has taken place annually for over 35 years. He even has found himself caring for farm animals in need.

Willie Nelson’s heart and soul live in the country, in the farmland, and in every note of his music. His influence is unparalleled, and this biography is a perfect snapshot of why he is such a beloved musician worldwide.


 

Carol Burnett, A Little Golden Book Biography

Written by Andrea Posner-Sanchez | Illustrated by Kelley Kennedy | Review by Kenna Watters

Carol Burnet is an American icon, but so many don’t know what made her unique at a time when men dominated television. This biography, written for children, walks through her youngest years living in poverty with her grandmother, who did her best to raise Carol.

Carol had an insatiable thirst for theater and the stage from a young age, pursuing an acting career in college and beyond. But the story tells how it wasn’t industry to break into, and Carol had to get “creative” to stand out among the crowd. We learn about the time a person came into her life and completely shifted her career trajectory. She had stick-to-itiveness perserverance and ambition, and her focus on her dream was never-ending.

Her wit and ability to transform into her many characters set her apart from other actresses. She worked hard to reach her goal and be the best she could be in true Carol Burnett fashion!

She was a dedicated mom and a passionate working woman in a time when women comedians were scarce. She is responsible for paving the way for women after her to make waves like her. This lovely book teaches what made Carol Burnett so special, unique, and successful. She was and is a funny, charming, and true legacy in American television, and this story lets us see why in easy-to-read text and adorable illustrations.

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