"This jazz man, he plays seven,/He plays notes that rise to heaven." The "jazz man" here is Dizzy Gillespie, one of the nine jazz greats profiled in this clever retooling of the song "This Old Man." Playful mixed-media collages echo the musical genre's groundbreaking energy, and the rhythmic text will keep the young audience bopping along. (ages 3 to 7)
The November 2006 issue of Child magazine
Setting her ode to nine jazz giants to the rhythm of "This Old Man," newcomer Ehrhardt playfully substitutes the onomatopoeic sounds of their instruments (or Bill "Bojangles" Robinson's tapping feet) for the standard "knick knack paddy-whack" refrain. Drummer Art "Bu" Blakey, for example, is the jazz man who plays six: "He plays solos with his sticks,/ With a bomp-bomp! Bubbuda-bomp!/ Give the man a hand,/ This jazz man beats with the band." In each energized mixed-media spread, Roth, also making his children's book debut, features a figure-Dizzy, Bird and Satchmo among them-in dapper mismatched clothing, swinging against white backgrounds bordered in cheerful stripes styled like awnings and bandstands. Roth's painted display type cavorts across the spreads, extending each verse's third line with more syncopated syllables. Performers are not identified until the endnotes, which pair brief bios with spot illustrations. Other jazz-themed children's books go into more detail, but the candy-colored collages burst from the pages, making this addition just right as an uptempo introduction for youngest music lovers. Ages 3-7. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
This introduction to nine jazz musicians uses the counting format of "This Old Man." Each is described on a double page in a brief verse which includes the sound he makes: the rhythm of "snap! snap! snazzy-snap!" or "tap-tap! shuffle-slap!" At the end of the counting to ten, the identity of each jazz man is revealed, along with a lengthy paragraph giving the basic facts of his life. Louis Armstrong, Bill Robinson, Luciano Pozo y Gonzalez, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Waller, and Charlie Mingus are among the players. Ehrhardt manages an appropriate description for each within the limits of the old song, ending "These jazz men make one great band!" Roth's mixed media collage images and visual sound effects translate the music each plays, along with their vividly patterned clothing and multicolored, roughly calligraphic words which interplay with the musicians' performances against the white pages. Even the varied borders will not hold still. The catchy rhythms and nonsense phrases beg us to sing along. 2006, Harcourt, Ages 3 to 7.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-Using a lively version of the children's song "This Old Man," this book introduces famous African-American jazz musicians as it counts to nine. Louis Armstrong is number 1. "This jazz man, he plays one,/He plays rhythm with his thumb,/With a Snap! Snap! Snazzy-snap!/Give the man a hand,/This jazz man scats with the band." The illustrations give clues to the performers, and the end matter has a biographical sketch for each one. In the final spread, all of the musicians are together, taking bows: "These jazz men make one great band!" The energetic collage illustrations introduce the action by picturing bold striped curtains encompassing an empty stage set up with jazz instruments; each performer's subsequent spread has striped borders. Onomatopoeic words spill across the pages in imitation of the music's sounds. The book is fun for jazz aficionados and neophytes alike. Children will enjoy the sounds and illustrations and sing along without needing to know more.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Ehrhardt offers her version of the classic song, "This Old Man," with a few surprises. Ten two-page spreads update the sing-along favorite, each of the first nine devoted to a different jazz legend, from Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong to Charlie "Bird" Parker to John Burks "Dizzy" Gillespie to Charles Mingus and others. (On number ten, naturally, they jam.) In addition to the revision of the verses themselves-"He plays solo with his sticks / With a bomp-bomp! Bubbuda-bomp!" for example-additional scat phrases dance across the pages in a riot of color. Brief, concise biographies of the nine jazz men are a bonus surprise at the end (although they won't be accessible to the very young target audience). Roth's illustrations, in mixed-media collage and printmaking on watercolor paper, fill the pages with interesting shapes and multiple colors. His nifty patterned outfits for the jazz men get prime exposure when they take a bow after their jam session. Slight but snappy. (Picture book. 3-6)
The New York Times Book Review
“This Jazz Man . . . is gentle and upbeat. Here the idea is that every great musician joins one big imaginary jazz band, and it’s a whole lot of fun.”
The New York Times Book Review