Monday, January 22, 2007
Myers, Walter Dean. 2006. JAZZ. Ill. by Christopher Myers. New York: Holiday House. ISBN 0823415457 [Suggested Grade Levels 1-6]
JAZZ is a vibrant picture book poetry collection that is both a celebration of jazz music and history and a tribute to the city of New Orleans. The language is vivid and participatory and the art is sprawling and expressive in wild greens, purples, and oranges. The 15 poems celebrate the jazz band, vocalists, various instrumental combinations, and even a traditional New Orleans funeral procession, each with words and phrases highlighted for emphasis and for children reading along. A helpful introduction, glossary of terms, and a timeline provide additional background. This father and son team has once again collaborated to create a masterpiece that magically captures the spirit and rhythms of music on the printed page. It’s a visual treat, but one that also begs to be shared out loud to bring the music and the music of language to life again.
Look for recorded music to share examples of jazz with the children, such as the artistry of Louis Armstrong. If possible, invite local musicians (even high school or college jazz musicians) to play live.
Readers can participate in researching the current status of the city of New Orleans and considering ways to provide support in the rebuilding process.
Additional picture books about jazz music and musicians:
Marsalis, Wynton. JAZZ A B Z; AN A TO Z COLLECTION OF JAZZ PORTRAITS. ISBN 0763621358
Myers, Walter Dean. BLUES JOURNEY. ISBN 0823416135
Raschka, Chris. CHARLIE PARKER PLAYED BE BOP. ISBN 0531059995
Raschka, Chris. MYSTERIOUS THELONIOUS. ISBN 0531300579
Raschka, Chris. JOHN COLTRANE'S GIANT STEPS. ISBN 0689845987
Winter, Jonah. DIZZY. ISBN 0439507375
By Sylvia M. Vardell