While watching CBS Sunday Morning I learned that Wednesday Duke Ellington Day, a celebration of the 116th anniversary of the bandleader’s and composer’s birth. April is also Jazz Appreciation Month (who knew!).
Last week during storytime we read jazz and music themed books and then drew pictures to the music.
*insert some head bobbing and finger snapping*
Here are ten books for your little jazz baby.
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Book descriptions are from Amazon.
1. Bring on that Beat by Rachel Isadora
When a jazz trio begins playing under a streetlamp, everyone comes out to listen and dance. It’s Harlem in the 1930s, and jazz has the power to make them groove. Combining her fine oil painting style with computer-manipulated colors, Rachel represents the shapes and colors of jazz in a tribute to Duke Ellington with a nod toward painters Klee and Kandinsky. Operating almost wordlessly, the innovative visuals are sprinkled with riffs of slang in snappy couplets-telling a bigger story of how the influence of jazz goes far beyond the neighborhood in this book. This tour de force brings jazz alive for the youngest children.
2. Jazz On A Saturday Night by Leo and Diane Dillon
This Coretta Scott King Honor book
If you have ever been lucky enough to hear great jazz, then you will understand the pure magic of this book. Leo and Diane Dillon use bright colors and musical patterns that make music skip off the page in this toe-tapping homage to many jazz greats. From Miles Davis and Charlie Parker to Ella Fitzgerald, here is a dream team sure to knock your socks off. Learn about this popular music form and read a biography of each player pictured-and then hear each instrument play on a specially produced CD. What’s the featured song? “Jazz on a Saturday Night,” written and recorded to accompany this book.
3. Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Christopher Rashcka
Ever hear of Charlie Parker? The great jazz saxophone player? If you have or if you haven’t, it’s okay. Look at this board book and you’ll hear Charlie Parker; you’ll hear music in your mind. “Be bop. Fisk, fisk. Lollipop. Boomba, boomba.” Look. That’s Charlie swinging and spinning all over the pages. And that’s Charlie’s cat, waiting, waiting for him to come home…
4. Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Another stunning picture book biography of a prominent twentieth-century African-American in the arts, from the creative team behind Alvin Ailey.
5. This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt
In this toe-tapping jazz tribute, the traditional “This Old Man” gets a swinging makeover, and some of the era’s best musicians take center stage. The tuneful text and vibrant illustrations bop, slide, and shimmy across the page as Satchmo plays one, Bojangles plays two . . . right on down the line to Charles Mingus, who plays nine, plucking strings that sound “divine.”
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