Saturday, January 24, 2009

Book Review

Jazz
Walter Dean Myers
Christopher Myers, illustrator
4/5 stars

I participate in a forum where a different theme or genre is chosen each month. January's tag is music so off I went in search of music on the page. When I found Jazz, a children’s music book by Walter Dean Myers and his son, Christopher, I checked it out of the library. I think for children, who are really interested in music and have some foundation in music history or experience playing it, this book is an easy sale. For other children, I think the reader needs to be adept at creating the right pitch when reading aloud.

The lyrics are often too mature for younger readers, but the sounds and images will entertain them even if the words float above them. I also think the energy and the vibrancy of the illustrations shared in short bursts over a few reading sessions is the best way to approach what can be a very good time.

The book has a great glossary and the opening of the book provides a good history. I think Jazz is art in a picture book for grownups and kids. It's a fun introduction to an American art form, the kind of book you’ll want to revisit.

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