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THE JUKEBOX MAN by Jacqueline K. Ogburn


by Jacqueline K. Ogburn & illustrated by James E. Ransome

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8037-1429-0
Publisher: Dial Books

An adult look back at a childhood experience, in a volume that may be too blindly nostalgic to have relevance for children. Young Donna, who looks about nine, makes the rounds with her grandfather, Poppaw, whose job it is to maintain jukeboxes at several restaurants. They play “Blue Suede Shoes,” she is given a used 45-rpm record from one machine; she watches the money being collected; and she kills time at the soda fountain waiting for Poppaw. The drama comes when the record is destroyed, but that song is installed on another machine, and she and Poppaw dance. The era and attitudes are evoked, not only in the text, but in Ransome’s inclusion of details in the paintings—dungarees, saddle shoes. He also paints the mighty Wurlitzer, replicating the colors faithfully, but perhaps no illustration can do justice to the glow those machines put out—at least in memory. A sweet story, and obviously a personal one, this may not interest children reading alone; it may be best suited to sharing, with an adult to explain everything from old 45s to 20õ slices of pie. (Picture book. 5-8)