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Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra Paperback – December 12, 2006
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We applaud this talented husband-and-wife team--award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney and writer Andrea Pinkney--for making music fly in this fantastic tribute to a jazz legend. Andrea does an extraordinary job of translating music into words, with blues "deeper than the deep blue sea" and "hot-buttered bob, with lots of sassy-cool tones," while her husband visually interprets the movement of music as spirals, waves, and swirls of color, prepared as scratchboard renderings with luma dyes, gouache, and oil paint. Andrea writes, "Toby let loose on his sleek brass sax, curling his notes like a kite tail in the wind. A musical loop-de-loop, with a serious twist," while Brian paints those curling notes, the loop-de-loops, and the kite sailing up to the New York City skyline. Young readers will enjoy the rhythm and beauty of the story itself, and may even be inspired to give Raffi a rest and swing with the Duke! (Great read-aloud, ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson, Amazon.com Kids editor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
At the same time, I wouldn't hesitate to read this story to older students, even in the upper grades. The book provides in-depth biographical information--there is nothing babyish about it.
The words are very rhythmic and make you want to sing out as you are reading them.
My one complaint is that when I turned to the last page, I wanted to hear "Take the A Train" play.
Bravo to the Pinkneys!
Sure some of the terminology went right past these kids, but they got into the groove, which is carried along soulfully by the vibrant illustrations. Like another reviewer here, when I was done reading this to the kids, I wanted to hear "Take the 'A' Train." Fortunately I had a CD of "Duke Ellington's 16 Most Requested Songs" sitting in my library, so I popped it in, and these kids were a-hoppin' and a-boppin'.
I think next time, I'll play the CD first. Hopefully, I'll be able to settle 'em down afterwards to hear this jazzy biography.
When the Duke's parents enrolled him in piano lessons for the very first time, he flat out did not want to go. At that time he had visions of playing baseball; but his parents insisted that he learn to play the piano. The music lessons were slow and not a lot of fun. It wasn't long before he quit taking lessons altogether and kissed the piano goodbye. Little did he know then that the melodious rhythms of Ragtime would draw him back to this instrument again and lead to his success as a great musician, composer, and orchestra leader!
Andrea Davis Pinkney does an outstanding job sharing the Duke's story with young readers. Her husband, Brian Pinkney, matches her wonderful text with vibrate illustrations, which translate the Duke's music into a series of bold colored spirals, waves, curls, and swirls that literally leap off of the pages of the book! Without a doubt, this husband and wife collaboration will guide readers in appreciating the rhythm and beat of the Duke's life and music. This book is truly a musician's delight!
The book begins with Ellington's childhood, and describes his early interest in music and the beginning of his career. The Pinkneys portray his triumph at the Cotton Club, his musical partnership with Billy Strayhorn, and other aspects of his life and career. The book concludes with the triumphant premiere of Ellington's great composition "Black, Brown, and Beige" at Carnegie Hall in New York.
One of the aspects of the book that I like best is Andrea Pinkney's use of hip slang that recalls the era being portrayed. Example: "Yeah, those solos were kickin'. Hot-buttered bop, with lots of sassy-cool tones." And Brian Pinkney's illustrations combine vibrant color with an appealing "antiqued" look. Overall, an excellent educational book for young readers.
In this tale we meet Duke from his baseball playing days in Washington, D.C. Children everywhere will sympathize when Duke decides that learning to play the piano is a waste of his time and that he'd much rather be out and about with his friends. Fast forward a couple years and an older pool shooting Duke hears the sweet sounds of ragtime for the very first time. Suddenly the piano doesn't sound so lame, and Duke teaches himself the rudiments of it immediately. Over time, his particular style and talents get him jobs in clubs and cabarets and at last he forms his own band. From here on in the book's a whirlwind series of visits to places like the Cotton Club (which I think illustrator Brian Pinkney probably failed to base after the real club itself) and, at long last, New York's Carnegie Hall in 1943.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Taught my son quite a bit and helped with his 1st grade project.Published 11 months ago by Ebony Stone
My four year old loves music and I’m starting to teach him to play piano, so this book was a natural fit. Read morePublished 11 months ago by J. Poe
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First I'd like to point out what a fine-looking couple the author and illustrator are! Read more
This book is a triumph! A wonderful choice to read aloud with your kids. The language just rolls along, and the pacing and tempo of the words almost sounds like music. Read morePublished on May 22, 2013 by M. Heiss
My nine year old son came home from school wanting this book after hearing it read to him in class. The paperback book had a nice shiny cover and was a good sized book. Read morePublished on December 27, 2011 by MyViews
Duke Ellington: the Piano Prince and His Orchestra is a brief biography of Duke Ellington, the great jazz pianist and orchestra leader. Read morePublished on July 2, 2011 by Gypsi Phillips Bates
I am an elementary school music teacher & I ordered this book for my classroom. When I read through it upon receiving my order I was immediately impressed! Read morePublished on September 17, 2010 by musicteacher
If the brilliant colors and impressive images don't catch your attention, then the amazingly written story of Edward Kennedy Ellington will. Read morePublished on February 19, 2007 by Amanda Say