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Gizmos, Gadgets, and Guitars: The Story of Leo Fender



by
Michael Mahin
illustrated by
Steven Salerno

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Macmillan
Imprint
Henry Holt and Company, Inc.
ISBN
9781250251862
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$21.06   $17.55
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A picture book biography of American inventor Leo Fender, best known for creating the world’s most iconic electric guitar.

Leo Fender loved to take things apart and put them together again. When he lost an eye in a childhood accident, he refused to think of himself as broken. He made do with one and got right to work. Soon, he was fixing machines big and small—even broken instruments. Leo cleverly applied the scientific method to craft groundbreaking designs, producing a new sound that would inspire the Rock n’ Roll generation. Fender’s inventions went on to amplify the talents of legendary guitarists David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix, Chrissie Hynde, Bonnie Raitt and Eric Clapton, among many others. Fender’s brilliant engineering vision shows just how science and art are inextricable.Author’s note. Bibliography. Further reading. Glossary. Full-color illustrations created with crayon, ink, gouache, and pastel, assembled digitally in Adobe Photoshop, with additional coloring applied.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

11" x 9"

Dewey

B

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Oct 2021

Book Genres

Autobiography/Biography, Narrative Nonfiction, Picture Book

Topics

Leo Fender (1909–1991). Electric guitar makers. Twentieth-century US inventors. Inventions. Musical instruments. Musicians. 

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5–Mahin and Salerno present the life of Leo Fender, the fix-it man who revolutionized the solid-body guitar and built an empire of affordable musical equipment. Leo’s story begins in the early 20th century on his family farm, where he explored his love of building and fixing machinery. After straying from a traditional career path during the Depression, he opened a repair shop where he not only fixed instruments but built them. From musicians’ feedback (and their desire for less feedback when playing amplified hollow bodies), he developed what is now the standard in rock music: the solid-body electric guitar. This wasn’t without trial and error, and in his perseverance Fender clearly demonstrated STEAM habits of mind. This biography is well researched and masterfully told. Children will enjoy reading about Fender’s unusual journey, especially with the clever tidbits, peculiar vocabulary, and subtle alliteration that make Mahin a fantastic storyteller. Salerno’s classic Americana illustrations in crayons, ink, gouache, and pastel bring to mind illustrative versions of Norman Rockwell stills, with postures that show as much as the facial expressions. Leo is white, with a mop of curly brown hair and round glasses. Inner workings of the instruments and machinery are finely detailed, and blueprint drawings make up the endpapers. VERDICT While Fender may not be a household name, his story will inspire future musicians and inventors. Recommended for children’s biography collections, especially those seeking to incorporate the arts into STEAM. Compare with Kim Tomsic’s Guitar Genius, the story of Fender’s contemporary, Les Paul.–Clara Hendricks, Cambridge P.L., MA

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5–Mahin and Salerno present the life of Leo Fender, the fix-it man who revolutionized the solid-body guitar and built an empire of affordable musical equipment. Leo’s story begins in the early 20th century on his family farm, where he explored his love of building and fixing machinery. After straying from a traditional career path during the Depression, he opened a repair shop where he not only fixed instruments but built them. From musicians’ feedback (and their desire for less feedback when playing amplified hollow bodies), he developed what is now the standard in rock music: the solid-body electric guitar. This wasn’t without trial and error, and in his perseverance Fender clearly demonstrated STEAM habits of mind. This biography is well researched and masterfully told. Children will enjoy reading about Fender’s unusual journey, especially with the clever tidbits, peculiar vocabulary, and subtle alliteration that make Mahin a fantastic storyteller. Salerno’s classic Americana illustrations in crayons, ink, gouache, and pastel bring to mind illustrative versions of Norman Rockwell stills, with postures that show as much as the facial expressions. Leo is white, with a mop of curly brown hair and round glasses. Inner workings of the instruments and machinery are finely detailed, and blueprint drawings make up the endpapers. VERDICT While Fender may not be a household name, his story will inspire future musicians and inventors. Recommended for children’s biography collections, especially those seeking to incorporate the arts into STEAM. Compare with Kim Tomsic’s Guitar Genius, the story of Fender’s contemporary, Les Paul.–Clara Hendricks, Cambridge P.L., MA

Grades 2-6
Biography Elementary Plus
For Grades 2-6

Fascinating biographies and autobiographies will allow your elementary readers to look into the lives, thoughts, and accomplishments of the individuals who have shaped our world. And with 14 books per year, they'll discover a remarkable person each month.

14 books per Year
$245.70 per Year
Interests
Biographies,Diversity,Nonfiction,Science/STEAM
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Grades 2-6
Biography Elementary Plus
14 books per Year
$245.70 per Year

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