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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 8 up.
Wonderfully presented and imaginatively conceived, this book captures the essence of jazz. Those who love jazz will enjoy every page and those unknowledgeable about this music which originated in New Orleans will learn much. The author and illustrator notes explain the genesis of this collaboration. The original and symbolic paintings were done first, offering inspiration and direction to the famous musician who is also an innovative writer of poetry, as is clear when reading this book. There is much playfulness and, while it is an alphabet book, it takes a bit of poetic license when starting with A for Louis Armstrong and ending with Z for Dizzy Gillespie. Sound wins the day and broadens the scope of the effort. The poems take many forms, and an explanatory section explains the poetic forms appearing in the book. There are also biographical sketches of the musicians as well as information about the poet, the artist, and the writer of the biographies. This is anything but a dry recounting of facts, and the look of the book adds to its appeal. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford