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Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Candlewick Biographies: Ella Fitzgerald Hardcover – December 26, 2012
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About the Author
Roxane Orgill is an award-winning writer on music and the author of several biographies for young readers, including MAHALIA: A LIFE IN GOSPEL MUSIC AND FOOTWORK: THE STORY OF FRED AND ADELE ASTAIRE. She is also the author of DREAM LUCKY, a book for adults about big-band jazz, race, and politics in the 1930s. She lives in New York City.
Sean Qualls is the illustrator of many books for children, including DIZZY; BEFORE JOHN WAS A JAZZ GIANT: A SONG OF JOHN COLTRANE; THE POET SLAVE OF CUBA: A BIOGRAPHY OF JUAN FRANCISCO MONZANO; and PHILLIS'S BIG TEST. He lives in Brooklyn.
Top Customer Reviews
Author Roxanne Orgill, tells Ella’s story from the first time she heard a Boswell Sister’s record when she was about eight years old, and fell in love with swing music, until she was hired by the drummer and bandleader Chick Webb in 1938. (The book ends just before Webb died in 1939 and the band’s name was changed to “Ella and her Famous Orchestra”). The narrative is written so it can be easily read by a parent as a child – the book is aimed at ages 6 to 10 – can see the colorful illustrations. The author quotes from three songs that Ella sang during those years. This could easily be an “interactive” reading if the parent were to to download Ella’s 1938 hit record “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” and play the recording after the story ends. It the kind of catchy number that kids love and just could lead to a new generation of Ella fans.
The book includes, not only an index (though I’m not sure that serves much purpose), but a bibliography of other children’s books on Ella, some SERIOUS – and expensive – reference books about her, and a well-chosen “selected further listening” section.
This book has a list price of under $5.00 and is certainly an affordable start to a jazz music education. As a music journalist, well-versed in jazz, I’m impressed with the whole package.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.
This book is a gorgeous mix of lilting phrase and funky, lively illustration that reminds me of Jacob Lawrence's artistic style. I notice in another review that book got a music teacher's stamp of approval, which makes me feel even more confident in recommending it to older elementary and early middle school readers. It shows that hard work and talent (and luck, which you might have to make yourself) can take you where you want to go.
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: sent to me by the publisher