There’s some ’50s British slang terms, like ‘winklepickers’ and ‘Teddy boy.’ Do you think these will help kids appreciate the zeitgeist of mid-century Liverpool?
I think the period language in Fab Four Friends helps give kids a sense of time and place, especially when combined with Adam Gustavson’s illustrations. Plus, words like ‘winklepickers’ are so much fun!
How much did you work with Gustavson on the illustrations?
Because this is nonfiction and the art had to be as historically accurate as possible, I was shown the illustrations at every stage from sketches to finished art and was able to give feedback, conveyed to Adam through our editor. His oil paintings capture the boys’ likenesses with a fresh feeling, and he really nails the time period and the Beatles’ gear; I wanted to get that right for the fans.
What do you hope children will take away from this book?
I hope kids will listen to the music after reading the book. Beyond that, I hope the story will help young people understand that you don’t become a rock star (or anything else) by accident. As in following any dream, you need courage, perseverance, luck, talent—and a little help from your friends.