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David Weiser
Author
The Boy Who Wanted to Rock
David Weiser, author

Picture Book; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Written by Broadway and music industry veteran David Weiser and dedicated to his five-year-old son, The Boy Who Wanted to Rock takes readers on a musical journey that encourages children to learn the ropes…and swing from the ceiling! Guided by a cast of helpful and unlikely creatures, a young boy discovers that his inner monster is the key to learning and enjoying music. The story introduces fundamental concepts like rhythm and pitch, and provides a basic overview of how keyboard and fretted instruments work. An upbeat tale told in rhyme, it begins with a frustrated child in a bedroom full of instruments, and ends with rock n' roll mayhem in a cave full of monsters! 

A star-studded Broadway cast joins author David Weiser in bringing The Boy Who Wanted to Rock to lifeWest End star Ria Jones (Evita, Cats, Les Misérables, Sunset Boulevard UK Tour) narrates the audiobook version, and Broadway powerhouse Justin Matthew Sargent (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Rock of Ages), along with an all-star band, leads two companion rock songs. The songs and audiobook are free for all to enjoy, and an extra bonus for those who'd like to read along with the book!

 

 

Reviews
A young boy celebrates all things music in Weiser’s lively debut. The story opens with a “a boy who wanted to rock” but can’t seem to put notes together on his guitar or drum, despite his best efforts. After giving up and charging out of his house, he runs into a playful dog who offers him a quick, rhyming lesson in beats and rhythm: “One is the downbeat,/ the start of all songs.” The boy masters basic rock tempos and continues on his way, soon encountering other animals eager to teach him the nuts and bolts of rock and roll. Whether it’s the octopus who uses its eight arms to introduce the boy to scales, or the cats who hip him to guitars’ notes, frets and strings, the boy’s animal friends coach him into becoming the rock star he’s always dreamed about.

Weiser’s experience in the music industry is clear throughout this rhythmic narrative. Some of the lessons may prove slightly challenging for young readers who have not started music lessons, but the animals break things down in rhymes that invite the repeat readings that will help crystallize key ideas about keys and octaves. Meanwhile, climactic lessons from trolls and gnomes about how to pose while rocking out—complete with a rock n’ roll swagger “just like we taught/ Angus, Prince, and Mick Jagger”—are a silly delight, a reward for the introduction to music theory.

Derek Lavoie’s illustrations are intricately complex, with layers of color and tiny details waiting to be discovered in each scene but an overall sense of propulsive movement appropriate to the subject. Readers will want to pay attention to the graphics’ secrets, like the bioluminescent plants in the trolls’ cave or the boy’s fishbowl air tank in the underwater sections. Weiser’s story situates music as part of the natural world, and for young music students, or readers of any age with a passion for song, this rousing tale will invite calls for an encore.

Takeaway: Animals help a young boy discover the basics and brilliance of music making in this energetic tale.

Great for fans of: Connie Schofield-Morrison’s I Got the Rhythm, David Weinstone’s Music Class Today!

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: C+

News
06/18/2021
Mohawks, Monsters And Guitars

There once was a little boy who wanted to rock. But as rock musicians know full well, mastering power chords and shredding like guitar heroes is really hard. So the boy's dad wrote a children's book to help his son, but the book turned into a much bigger music project than expected.

04/26/2021
On the pages of his dad’s book, ‘The Boy Who Wanted to Rock’ gets his wish

 

There once was a boy who wanted to rock.

So his dad wrote him a book. Dad knew how to rock. He was a keyboard programmer who worked on Broadway shows.

Some of his dad’s famous buds sang companion songs and narrated the audiobook.

Meanwhile, mom was busy upstairs helping with the vaccine.

It’s been a busy year for the Weisers of Haverhill.   

David Weiser, a keyboard programmer for Andrew Lloyd Webber shows and others — from Broadway, to London’s West End, to NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” starring John Legend — has written and self-published “The Boy Who Wanted to Rock,” for his own boy who wanted to rock: Arlen.

 

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