Literary

New Children's Book Explains Punk Rock to Kids

It is not often a review of a book is longer than the book itself, at least in number of words, but this is not just any book review and the book in question is not just any book. What Every Child Needs to Know About Punk Rock, by Valley resident R. Brad Snyder and his writing partner, New York author and M.D. Marc Engelsgjerd, is the world's first board book geared toward teaching wee ones about music's most misunderstood genre. Even more interesting than that is the fact that it does a pretty good job.

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Snyder and Engelsgjerd's primary focus in this, their second book in their series about music, is how we as parents start a conversation with our children about something important to us. For Snyder, it was important to do a book about punk rock.

"I wanted to write it because it meant a lot to me, but I realized there was not one story to it. Where do you start, where do you end? I wanted to write it because punk rock was important to me at a very important time in my life. I think it saved rock 'n' roll," says Snyder.

Punk rock is a touchy subject for many when you start poking around about origins and who is responsible for what, but What Every Child Needs to Know About Punk Rock does a great job of keeping it simple yet covering the major bases. It also looks at some of the key factors that have pushed punk beyond a fledgling music genre to being a full-fledged part of western culture. For parents out there who want to share a bit of their past or present with their kids, this book is a fun way to begin the chat, with great pictures and should be fairly easy for your 7- to 9-year-old to read and understand.

Snyder and Engelsgjerd have created something that embodies the spirit of punk rock in perhaps the least likely form: a board book. Even for those punks and fans of punk culture who don't have children, this is a good piece for your book shelf and a surefire conversation starter. Pick one up and get it signed by the authors at Changing Hands (300 West Camelback Road) on Saturday, September 20, at 11 a.m.

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon