Jazzy Miz Mozetta

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"Okay, young cats, let the beat hit your feet."

One fine evening, Miz Mozetta puts on her firecracker-red dress and heads outside to enjoy the moonlight. When she hears the neighborhood kids' music, she's inspired to dance, but her old friends have too many aches and pains to join her. The kids doubt that Miz Mozetta would be able to keep up with them. So she retreats to her parlor, where she dreams about the old days at the Blue Pearl Ballroom. Just when her feet are itching to...

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Overview

"Okay, young cats, let the beat hit your feet."

One fine evening, Miz Mozetta puts on her firecracker-red dress and heads outside to enjoy the moonlight. When she hears the neighborhood kids' music, she's inspired to dance, but her old friends have too many aches and pains to join her. The kids doubt that Miz Mozetta would be able to keep up with them. So she retreats to her parlor, where she dreams about the old days at the Blue Pearl Ballroom. Just when her feet are itching to get out there and do the jitterbug -- friends or no friends -- a knock comes on the door, and Miz Mozetta gets some welcome company.

Lively, colorful illustrations and a rhythmic text make for a jazzy dance party that readers will delight in attending again and again.
 

Jazzy Miz Mozetta is the winner of the 2005 Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe New Talent Award.

An Honor Book for the 2005 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Morrison captures the exuberant spirit of Miz Mozetta with...dynamic illustrations that dance to the beat of a fresh, rhythmic story. Duke Ellington is right - 'It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing' - and this vivacious offering definitely does." -- Kirkus Reviews

"This story proves that the love of dance has no age limits. High-stepping, whirling images complement the rhythmic dialect of jazz clubs and bring Miz Mozetta...to life 'faster than a rat can scat.' This upbeat, multigenerational tale will have broad appeal."
-- School Library Journal

"Words that bop and pictures that spin make this book so close to dance, readers won't be able to keep their feet from tapping." -- Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
Words that bop and pictures that spin make this book so close to dance, readers won't be able to keep their feet from tapping. Roberts's (Sticks and Stones: Bobbie Bones) Miz Mozetta, whom Morrison pictures as a youthful grey-haired, ample-bosomed gal, digs out a fabulous red dress one night ("My best color, if I do say so") and goes out in search of dance partners. Her friends Mister Brown, Miz Lou Lillie, and Mister Willie shake their heads ("My dancin' days are done, honey dear," Mister Brown says), while teen break-dancers Cap and Rudy model moves too tough for the heroine. When Miz Mozetta heads home, Willie and the rest reconsider and show up at her door, dressed to the nines, ("Lightnin' Lou Lillie kicked off her skippers and stomped. Wildcat Willie whirled"). Cap and Rudy hear the fun and beg to join; now the old folks snub them, then think better of it. As he did in last season's Sweet Music in Harlem, Morrison once again calls to mind the characters of Ernie Barnes with his comfortably-padded women and skinny men whose arms and legs stick out at impossible angles as they start to dance. Three side-by-side time-lapse images show "Downtown Brown" spin, come around with his head thrown back, then whirl so fast he becomes a blur. The urban setting, a close-knit community whose elders tell the young folks what's what, adds zip to Miz Mozetta's beat. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This Miz Mozetta is definitely not your average senior citizen. She fluffs on a little Pretty Plum powder, puts on her firecracker red dress and a touch of Tango Mango lipstick, and she's ready to cut a rug. In her pizzazzy uptown hat and fancy shoes, this dancing lady teaches the youngsters on the block a thing or two. Finally, when Miz Mozetta is jitterbugged out, she dreams of strolling uptown to buy herself new dancing shoes. This vivacious, perfectly illustrated picture book is just the thing for sparking a lively conversation about what one generation might offer the other. A not-to-be-missed story hour pick for all ages. 2004, Farrar Straus Giroux, Ages 4 to 6.
—Augusta Scattergood
Kirkus Reviews
Jazzy Miz Mozetta, a bespectacled African-American woman, sees the fat yellow moon and is inspired to "Skiddle de wee bop she bop . . . yeah!" She dons her favorite dress and "pizzazzy" hat and struts downstairs, all aglow. A crazy beat from the hip-hopping kids across the street thumps away and she wants to dance, too, but when her achy old checkers-playing friends won't join her and she can't duplicate the youngsters' splits and shimmies, she forlornly heads back upstairs. Anyone who's ever felt all dressed up with nowhere to go will understand Miz Mozetta's excitement and subsequent deflation. Fortunately, the night is saved and the tables are turned when friends pop in for some old-style jitterbugging-and even the street hipsters join the fun. Morrison captures the exuberant spirit of Miz Mozetta with a colorful jumble of exaggeratedly long, skinny limbs in dynamic illustrations that dance to the beat of a fresh, rhythmic story. Duke Ellington is right-"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"-and this vivacious offering definitely does. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374336745
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/14/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.05 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Brenda C. Roberts lives in Los Angeles, California, and this is her second book for children.

Frank Morrison lives in New Jersey.

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