Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Singin' and Swingin', September 2, 2004
This review is from: Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra (Caldecott Honor Book) (Hardcover)
Edward Kennedy Ellington, who preferred being called Duke, didn't like playing the piano at first. As the book made out, he considered piano lessons a chore, although it doesn't directly say this in the text. The boring "umpy-dumpy" noises that the piano made when he hit the keys made him soon quit lessons so he could pursue the interests of a regular boy. It would be a couple of years later until Duke would start practicing piano once more.

In what looks like a pool hall, Duke discovers a new way of playing piano. His discovery is ragtime. The ragtime music isn't boring and repetitve as the type of music he had practiced as a boy. This music gives of a rythmical sensation throughout the body. Duke is soon in love with the piano. And he starts practicing with the little knowledge of the piano he has. He is soon good enough to have his own band and becomes a frequent performer at the Cotton Club. Duke records many hit songs in his life and becomes known as "The King of the Keys".

Pinkney's unusually good painting are very enjoyable and I really like the way that the musical chords showed up to let the reader know that music was being played.
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