- Age Range: 5 - 9 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
- Lexile Measure: 1090L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First edition (April 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805079947
- ISBN-13: 978-0805079944
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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“Weatherford's evocative poem traces Coltrane's influences simply and stunningly. Qualls's muted palette of rich hues suggests the smoky jazz moods he would create.” ―School Library Journal
“Even children who are unfamiliar with jazz in general and John Coltrane in particular may find their interest piqued.” ―Horn Book
“Will echo with contemporary children, who will recognize the music in their daily lives.” ―Booklist
“This is as much a subtle invitation for children to listen to their own worlds as it is a Coltrane biography.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
About the Author
CAROLE BOSTON WEATHERFORD wrote the Caldecott Honor book Moses: When Harriet Tubman Lead Her People to Freedom. She lives in North Carolina.
SEAN QUALLS illustrated the widely acclaimed biographies The Poet Slave of Cuba and Dizzy. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.
Top customer reviews
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My only disappointment was that the end felt anticlimactic, partly because there is not much of a story arc, and partly because it felt obvious. However, the sensory richness of text and illustration still make this a jazz picture book I'd recommend.
"Before John was a jazz giant,
he heard big bands on the radio
and a saxophone's soulful solo,
blue notes crooning his name."
Sean Qualls's soulful and thoughtful artwork, especially the wide-eyed depiction of Coltrane as a boy, brings a lot to the poetic tale. In the back, under the Author's Note, there is a clear, concise mini biography of John Coltrane, a revolutionary jazz composer and saxophonist. There are additional musical and book recommendations. A combination lesson of `listen and learn' after reading this book would be a fun classroom activity!