NU_OPEN
You are here:Home>Book Reviews>Ella Fitzgerald - The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney

Ella Fitzgerald - The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney

I love jazz. I love childrens books on jazz especially when they are as rhythmic colorful and upbeat as this one. Savor the description of Dizzy's bebop as scatted by Andrea Davis Pinkney's narrator a most hip feline named Scat Cat Monroe: "SYN - CO - PATION LO - CO - MOTION Fast-smack sound - done low down. It was slam-bamming on the flitter-tip. It was ham-hock-jabber FEVER PITCH." The accompanying art by Brian Pinckney shows Dizzy in free flight and upside down. "He turned jazz on its head." That's what I love.

The Pinkneys who also have independent literary careers have worked together before on childrens' literature including award-winning books on Duke Ellington and Alvin Ailey. Brian's art influenced by the Harlem Renaissance and Art Deco is fantastic under any definition of that term. Here they turn their considerable talents to the First Lady of Song bringing you on her journey from tapping on the Harlem sidewalks to scatting at Carnegie Hall.

It's all there. Winning the Apollo talent contest at seventeen. (You"ll feel her butterflies.) Auditioning for Chick Webb at Yale. Stompin" at the Savoy. Ella and the Webb/Goodman battle of the bands in 1937."A -Tisket her award- winning recording career and honors from Presidents Carter and Reagan. The authors have thoughtfully included a brief bibliography a videography and selected discography.

Ella Fitzgerald left us on June 15 1996. She will live on through her music and this well-written and beautifully illustrated tribute by the Pinkneys. It's officially recommended for ages 5 to 9 but should be enjoyed by children (and adults) of all ages.'An author/illustrator couple, dedicated to the celebration of African-American life and culture, honor the First Lady of Song with a book for children that is a treat for eye and the inner ear.

Additional Info

  • Book Title: Ella Fitzgerald - The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa
  • Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney
  • Publisher: Jump at the Sun- Hyperion
  • Year Published: 2002
  • Book Type:: Biography
  • ISBN: 786805684
  • Rating: Five Stars
  • Number of Pages: 30
Login to post comments