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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Max Said Yes: The Woodstock Story (Picture Book)

Released May 2009

Reviewed by Deb Fowler

It was a time when young people wanted to make peace not war. They wanted to sing, to dance and to “groove to the sounds of love.” They had the music, the bands, the hippies and the squares, but there was no place to have their festival of love. It was upstate New York, 1969 and the search was on. The bands were chosen, each “gig was signed and sealed,” but finding some land to hold their celebration of love and peace seemed to be getting harder by the day. One farmer didn’t want hippies in his hay. Another was turned off by “unwashed dirty girls and boys.” The next one said sure and when his neighbors yelled he reneged. No, no, no, no, NO! But wait . . . let’s ask that guy over there!

“One farmer did not think the same
And Max Yasgur was his name.
He raised cows, sold milk and cheese.
He liked kids with big ideas like these.”

The festival was on because “Max said Yes!” They came from all over. In cars and on foot they came onto the land. The tents went up all around the stage and the festival was on. The bands played and the hippies danced to their music. It was a time to make peace, not war and from August 15 to 17, 1969 “almost half-a-million people” made a little love, did a little dance and all got along!

I was enthralled with this rendition of the Woodstock story and read it several times. It was probably no mean feat to recreate this story in rhyme, but it was very well done. The vibrant, colorful artwork was very appealing. Together they captured the spirit of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair (Woodstock) perfectly! In the back of the book there is more information on the festival and Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” lyrics. This is a wonderful nostalgic look at a celebration of peace and love in celebration of its 40-year anniversary. Peace!

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