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Eclectic Homeschool Online Book Lists - Music Picture Books

This section of our website is devoted to book lists that you can take to your library. The lists are sorted by Category, Subcategory and then Topic.

Booklists Main Page > Music & Drama

Music Picture Books List

  • Ah, Music!
    by Aliki
    ISBN: 0060287195
    In this richly layered compendium, Aliki shares her keen insight about music and all its themes and variations. Ah, Music! is about composers and instruments. It's about artists and performers. It's about history -- from the earliest music through classical, modern, jazz, and popular times. It's about diversity and pleasure.
  • Aida
    by Leontyne Price
    ISBN: 0152015469
    With profound depth, diva Leontyne Price retells Verdi's famous opera about the beautiful princess of Ethiopia who is captured by Egyptian soldiers and forced into slavery.
  • Animal Music
    by Donald Saaf (Illustrator), Harriet Ziefert (Author)
    ISBN: 0395952948
    First comes Mr. Lion's Marching Band, with an elephant on the drum, a tiger on the trumpet, and a zebra playing the clarinet. With a boom-a-boom and a rat-a-tat-tat the menagerie parades loudly by. Next to perform is the Sheep's Dance Band, with a goose on the mandolin and a cow playing the cello. The band's lively music calls all the farm animals to an uproarious dance! The cornucopia of musical merriment in this festive book never misses a beat and will have children stomping their feet. Saaf's brilliant paintings are the perfect complement to this joyous rhyme.
  • Apt. 3
    by Ezra Jack Keats
    ISBN: 0140565078
    In his apartment building in the city, Sam hears voices, barking dogs, snoring, and all kinds of other noises. One rainy day he also hears the sad sounds of a harmonica, and wonders who's playing. Sam's search leads him to Apt. 3, where he finds not only the source of the music--but a new friend.
  • Band of Angels, A
    by Deborah Hopkinson (Author), Raul Colon (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0689848870
    A Band of Angels is fiction, but it is based on real events and people. The character of Ella was inspired by Ella Sheppard Moore, who was born February 4, 1851, in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father was able to free himself and young Ella from slavery, but before he could buy freedom for Ella's mother she was sold away. Ella was raised in Cincinnati, where she took music lessons. At fifteen, she was left penniless when her father died. She arrived at Fisk School in 1868 with only six dollars.

    Fisk was opened in 1866 as a school for former slaves and began offering college classes in 1871. That year, in a desperate attempt to save Fisk from closing, a music teacher named George White set out with a group of students on a singing tour to raise money. Although at first they only sang popular music of the day, they soon became famous for introducing spirituals to the world.

    Ella Sheppard was the pianist for the Jubilee Singers on their historic concert tours, which raised enough money to save the school and build Jubilee Hall, the first permanent structure in the South for the education of black students. Ella later married George Moore, had three children, and located her mother and a sister. She died in 1914. Today her great-granddaughter is a librarian at Fisk University who shares the history of the Jubilee Singers with visitors.

    Although none graduated from Fisk, the original Jubilee Singers were recognized with honorary degrees in 1978. Today, Jubilee Singers at Fisk University continue to keep alive a rich musical tradition that includes such songs as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Many Thousand Gone," and "Go Down, Moses."
  • Bantam of the Opera
    by Mary Jane Auch (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0823413128
    A rooster wins fame and fortune as the star of the Cosmopolitan Opera Co.
  • Bat Boy And His Violin, The
    by Gavin Curtis (Author), E.B. Lewis (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0689841159
    Reginald loves to create beautiful music on his violin. But Papa, manager of the Dukes, the worst team in the Negro National League, needs a bat boy, not a "fiddler," and traveling with the Dukes doesn't leave Reginald much time for practicing.

    Soon the Dukes' dugout is filled with Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach -- and the bleachers are filled with the sound of the Dukes' bats. Has Reginald's violin changed the Dukes' luck -- and can his music pull off a miracle victory against the powerful Monarchs?

    Gavin Curtis's beautifully told story of family ties and team spirit and E. B. Lewis's lush watercolor paintings capture a very special period in history.
  • Beethoven Lives Upstairs
    by Barbara Nichol, Scott Cameron (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0531071189
    See Ludwig van Beethoven through the eyes of Christoph, a 10-year-old boy who lives beneath the musical genius. Young readers get to know Christoph and Beethoven through elegant illustrations and a series of letters the boy writes to his uncle. The correspondence reveals the composer's great talent as well as his eccentric behavior and the problems he faced after losing his hearing.
  • Bravo! Brava! a Night at the Opera
    by Anne Siberell, Frederica Von Stade (Introduction)
    ISBN: 0195139666
    A delightful introduction to opera, Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera teaches elementary school children what opera is by showing how it is made. "Who writes the words?", "Who makes an opera happen? "Who is backstage?"--these questions and more are answered with easy-to-understand explanations and are illustrated with whimsical watercolors by the author. From composer, choreographer, and costume designers to the conductor, lighting and special effects crew, and, of course, the singers, the excitement builds as Anne Siberell explains each person's role in producing an opera. Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera reveals details of the most famous operas' plots and characters along the way and includes synopses of 27 popular operas, a glossary, suggestions for further reading, and an index.
  • Carnival of the Animals with CD: Poems Inspired by Saint-Saëns' Music
    by Judith Chernaik (Editor), Satoshi Kitamura (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 076362960X
    Ladies and gentlemen, take your seats for CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS! Tap your feet, clap your hands, let the words flow and the music swell, and allow these poems and pictures to transport you. Inspired by Saint-Saëns’ famous "zoological fantasy," this magnificent book combines specially commissioned work by thirteen acclaimed modern poets with bold and glorious illustrations by Satoshi Kitamura.

    The accompanying fifty-five-minute CD, performed by the Apollo Chamber Orchestra, features a reading of each of the fourteen poems followed by the appropriate musical passage, beautifully evoking for young listeners each of the animals in Saint-Saëns’ famous 1886 fantasy for two pianos and orchestra.
  • Carnival of the Animals: By Saint-Saens
    by Barrie Carson Turner, Sue Williams (Illustrator), Camille Saint-Saens
    ISBN: 0805061800
    The animals are having a carnival, and the guests are arriving. There's the majestic lion, the braying mules, the dancing elephant, and the bouncy kangaroos. Even the fossils join in with a fast and rattly dance. Everyone is invited!

    Nearly 150 years ago, the composer Camille Saint-Sans was asked by his pupils to write a musical joke for them. He wrote the Carnival of the Animals, a piece people enjoyed so much that it has now become one of Saint-Sans's most famous works.

    This accessible commentary, in a picture-book format, helps children follow each section of Saint-Sans's classic piece while they listen to the CD. Whimsical illustrations, a simple text, and evocative melodies create an ideal introduction for young children to the world of classical music.
  • Charlie Parker Played Be Bop
    by Chris Raschka
    ISBN: 0531059995
    Amazon.com
    It would seem a riddle worthy of the sphinx: how do you give children a sense of jazz music without playing a note? Chris Raschka answers loudly and clearly with the illustrated, syncopated Charlie Parker Played Be Bop. This sparse, rhythmic, repetitive text (inspired by a recording of Parker's "A Night in Tunisia") embraces and reflects the sound and feel of jazz when read aloud: "Charlie Parker played be bop. / Charlie Parker played saxophone. / The music sounded like be bop. / Never leave your cat alone." Whether in complete phrases or in nonsense refrains that taste like music in your mouth ("Alphabet alphabet, alphabet, alph, / Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee, chick, / Overshoes, overshoes, overshoes, o, / Reeti-footi, reeti-footi, reeti-footi, ree."), Raschka brings melody to the page, and rhythm to eager ears.

    Raschka, whose Yo! Yes? won a Caldecott Honor, and whose Mysterious Thelonious--another ebullient, musical exploration of a jazz legend--was named a 1997 ALA Notable Book, proves once again that he is just as at home with a paintbrush as he is with a pen. His bold, quirky illustrations add movement and light to the words, buoying their already lyrical effect. Charlie Parker Played Be Bop is a colorful, whimsical romp through the world of jazz, sure to set young and old toes a-tapping. (Ages 4 to 8) --Brangien Davis
  • Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra
    by Andrea Davis Pinkney, J. Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0786801786
    Amazon.com
    Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, "King of the Keys," was born on April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. "He was a smooth-talkin', slick-steppin', piano-playin' kid," writes master wordsmith Andrea Pinkney in the rhythmic, fluid, swinging prose of this excellent biography for early readers. It was ragtime music that first "set Duke's fingers to wiggling." He got back to work and taught himself to "press on the pearlies." Soon 19-year-old Duke was playing compositions "smoother than a hairdo sleeked with pomade" at parties, pool halls, country clubs, and cabarets. Skipping from D.C. to 1920s Harlem, "the place where jazz music ruled," Duke and his small band called the Washingtonians began performing in New York City clubs, including the Cotton Club, where Duke Ellington and his Orchestra was officially born. By 1943, Duke Ellington--writer of more than 1000 compositions, including ballet and film scores, orchestral suites, musicals, and choral works--had made it all the way to Carnegie Hall.

    We applaud this talented husband-and-wife team--award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney and writer Andrea Pinkney--for making music fly in this fantastic tribute to a jazz legend. Andrea does an extraordinary job of translating music into words, with blues "deeper than the deep blue sea" and "hot-buttered bob, with lots of sassy-cool tones," while her husband visually interprets the movement of music as spirals, waves, and swirls of color, prepared as scratchboard renderings with luma dyes, gouache, and oil paint. Andrea writes, "Toby let loose on his sleek brass sax, curling his notes like a kite tail in the wind. A musical loop-de-loop, with a serious twist," while Brian paints those curling notes, the loop-de-loops, and the kite sailing up to the New York City skyline. Young readers will enjoy the rhythm and beauty of the story itself, and may even be inspired to give Raffi a rest and swing with the Duke! (Great read-aloud, ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson
  • Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa
    by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Brian Pinkney (Illustrator), Andrea Davis Pinkney, J. Brian Pinkney (Illustrator), Scat Cat Monroe (Contributor)
    ISBN: 0786805684
    Ella Fitzgerald began her life as a singer on the stage of the Apollo Theater when she was just seventeen years old. Her rich voice and vocal innovations brought her fame and a remarkable career than spanned half a century and won her generations of fans around the world. Acclaimed author Andrea Davis Pinkney has told Ella's inspiring story in the voice of Scat Cat Monroe, a feline fan whose imagined narrative sings with the infectious rhythms of scat. Two-time Caldecott Honor winner Brian Pinkney's dramatic perspectives and fantastical images offer a jazzy improvisation all their own.
  • Farewell Symphony, The
    by Anna Harwell Celenza, Joann E. Kitchel (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 1570914060
    Includes a full-length CD recorded by the Orchestra of St. Luke's, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras.

    History and music come alive!

    Prince Nicholas isn't easy to work for--just ask composer Joseph Haydn. When the prince isn't demanding chamber music, operas, and ballets to entertain his guests, he wants dance music for balls and dinner music with his meals. Haydn and the other musicians are kept quite busy at the prince's summer estate in Hungary. As summer fades into autumn, however, the musicians grow increasingly homesick. When Haydn mentions the musicians' distress, the prince threatens to fire the entire orchestra! How will the talented composer convince the mighty prince that it's time to bid farewell to the summer palace?

    Memorable characters, carefully researched text, and expressive illustrations tell the story behind Haydn's famous Symphony #45.
  • Frog Went A-Courting: A Musical Play in Six Acts
    by Dominic Catalano
    ISBN: 1563976374
    A retelling of the traditional Appalachian folk song with Frog and Miss Mouse set in seventeenth-century Scotland.
  • Gabriella's Song
    by Candace Fleming (Author), Giselle Potter (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0689809735
    In the streets and canals of Venice, Gabriella can hear nothing but sweet music. The drying laundry goes slap-slap, the church bells go ting-aling-ling, and the lire go jing-aling-ling. Soon, Gabriella is humming her way through town -- and everyone hears her song! Some find it sad, others smile when they hear it -- but none can forget the beautiful melody. Before long, a certain struggling composer is inspired by Gabriella's song -- and a beautiful symphony is born.
  • Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue
    by Anna Harwell Celenza, Joann E. Kitchel (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 1570915563
    It's 1924, and with just a few weeks' notice, George Gershwin has been asked to compose a new concerto that exemplifies American music. In his search for a new melody, Gershwin realizes that American music is much like its people -- a great melting pot of sounds, rhythms, and harmonies. JoAnn Kitchel's illustrations capture the 1920's in all their art-deco majesty.

    Hardcover with CD.
  • Gobble, Quack, Moon
    y Matthew Gollub (Performer), Judy Love (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 1889910201
    A host of barn animals cheers up Katie the cow by staging a ballet party on the moon. Includes narration on audio CD set to blues, waltzes, and rock ‘n’ roll.
  • Great Poochini, The
    by Gary Clement
    ISBN: 0888993315
    By day, Signor Poochini is just a dog sleeping in front of his master's fire. But by night he is the Great Poochini, the most acclaimed singer in all of doggie opera. One evening, a locked window threatens to keep Poochini from the opera house where his eager fans await. When a cat burglar appears, the disaster becomes Poochini's opportunity to save both his master's house and his performance.
  • Handel Who Knew What He Liked
    by M. T. Anderson
    ISBN: 0763610461
    A Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards Honor Book in the Non-fiction Category!

    This is not your usual picture book biography. Nor was George Frideric Handel your everyday eighteenth-century composer. This witty and yet rigorously researched and accessible biography captures Handel’s essential spirit--from a child who smuggled a clavichord into the attic to play music against his father’s orders to a young man who imported forty-five pounds of mountain snow to chill wine for a gala--as well as his remarkable, enduring musical triumphs. But M. T. Anderson also shows Handel’s struggles and chronicles the illness, ill fortune, and despair that led to his greatest achievement, the Messiah. With impeccable detail and a wink at the reader, Kevin Hawkes illustrates the singular story of Handel and the music through which he lives on.

    A droll biography reveals the high notes--and the low notes--in the life of the world’s foremost composer of Baroque music.
  • I Dreamed I Was a Ballerina
    by Anna Pavlova, Edgar Degas (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0689846762
    Amazon.com
    A young girl's discovery of ballet is combined with the magic of French Impressionist Edgar Degas's paintings to create a story as delicate and lovely as the ballerina herself. Drawn from the 1922 autobiography of prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, this reminiscence tells of her first trip to the ballet to see Sleeping Beauty with her mother. Her youthful words reflect the sweet wonder of the experience, as well as the gentle love between mother and child. The moment the breathless Pavlova voices her desire to dance on the stage one day, followed by her mother's response that she is "her silly little dear," is made all the more poignant by the reader's knowledge that this particular little girl's dream did come true.

    Filled with the enchanting details of the ballet, and perfectly accompanied by the famous ballerina paintings of Degas, this is a book to be treasured by dancers, art lovers, and devotees of ballet alike. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
  • Jazz Fly, The
    by Matthew Gollub, Karen Hanke (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 1889910171
    A singular story about musical insects celebrating language and the inventive spirit of jazz. Includes narration set to a jazz quartet on audio CD.

    A fly, who speaks jazz, asks different critters which way to town. “Rrribit,” replies the frog. “Oink,” says the hog. Although baffled, the fly hears music in their words, and that evening he stirs up a solo that sets the dinner club a hoppin.’ The computer enhanced artwork of Karen Hanke perfectly complements the text and CD. Get ready to tap, snap, and swing to the beat as Nancy the Gnat, Willie the Worm, and Sammy the Centipede take the stage.
  • John Coltrane's Giant Steps
    by Chris Raschka
    ISBN: 0689845987
  • Lentil
    by Robert McCloskey
    ISBN: 0140502874
    Lentil cannot sing or even whistle; longing to make music in some fashion, he provides himself with a harmonica and practices constantly wherever he is, especially in the bathtub, because there his tone is improved 100 percent. A book that, along with its fun, truly illustrates the American scene.
  • Mama Don't Allow
    y Thacher Hurd
    ISBN: 0064430782
    Saxophone-playing Miles and his Swamp Band find a bevy of sharp-toothed, long-tailed alligators who love to listen to their music. But little do Miles and his band know what the alligators plan for them at the close of their jubilant all-night ball! Inspired by a traditional song, this vibrant picture book is "ebullient, fast-paced, and funny."
  • Max Found Two Sticks
    by Brian Pinkney (Author)
    ISBN: 0671787764
    t was a day when Max didn't feel like talking to anyone. He just sat on his front steps and watched the clouds gather in the sky. A strong breeze shook the tree in front of his house, and Max saw two heavy twigs fall to the ground.
    So begins this story of a young boy's introduction to the joys of making music. Max picks up the sticks and begins tapping out the rhythms of everything he sees and hears around him...the sound of pigeons startled into flight, of rain against the windows, of distant church bells and the rumble of a subway. And then, when a marching band rounds Max's corner, something wonderful happens.

    Brian Pinkney's rhythmic text and lively pictures are certain to get many a child's foot tapping, many a youngster drumming.
  • Meet the Orchestra
    by Ann Hayes (Author), Karmen Thompson (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0152002227
    Have you ever met an orchestra? Well, here's your chance! Meet the rabbit with her flute...the koala cellist...the tuba-playing warthog...the alligator on the drums...This unusual introduction to the orchestra describes the instrument-strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion- and offers interesting information about them. Playful illustrations show the animal musicians as they gather for an evening's performance. Then the conductor lowers his baton, and the wonderful music begins....
  • Mole Music
    by David M. McPhail (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0805028196
    Mole has always led a simple life, but he begins to think that something is missing. When he hears a violin playing for the first time, he longs to make beautiful music. At first, Mole can only make horrible screeching noises on the new violin he gets, but he practices and practices. Finally, his patience and dedication are rewarded. Mole creates a magical gift that unbeknownst to him has the power to erase hatred from the hearts of all who hear his music.
    A Junior Library Guild Selection.
    A Children's Book-of-the-Month Club Selection.
  • Moses Goes to A Concert
    by Isaac Millman (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0374350671
    Moses and his deaf classmates attend a concert where the feel the vibrations of the music through balloons. They meet a deaf percusionist who explains how she became a musician. The book integrates American Sign Language throughout.
  • Music Is
    by Lloyd Moss, Philippe Petit-Roulet (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0399233369
    Music is magical. Whether it is fast or slow, loud or soft, haunting or uplifting, music makes our world a richer place. Some people dance to it, some write, play or sing it, and others just listen. Music's power is that it touches everyone in different ways. It can be enjoyed by a crowd or by one person alone; it can mark grand occasions or bedtime.

    We're so used to having music in our lives that we may not always notice how it affects us. In this lilting tribute, Lloyd Moss and Philippe Petit-Roulet lead us to think about how different the world would be if we didn't have music.
  • Mysterious Thelonious
    by Chris Raschka
    ISBN: 0531300579
    Amazon.com
    Vibe, rhythm, beat! There have been many tributes to the great jazz composer and performer Thelonius Monk, but none so arresting and surround-sound-appealing as this small, unassuming book. If you're looking for verbose or technical explanations of Monk's music, look elsewhere. Here, you'll find nothing but pure, punchy music. Scant words jump and dance over pages that bear greater resemblance to musical staffs than still places for text to sit idly. Chris Raschka, creator of Charlie Parker Played Be Bop, uses beautiful watercolors to splash and adorn the pages' multi-boxed backgrounds in a smooth, harmonic pattern based on the tones of the chromatic scale. A groovy piano makes the occasional appearance, along with the slouchy, jivin', slumpy, jammin' image of Monk doing what he did best. Do not read this book--instead, sing it, swing it, and sway to its infectious music. (Ages 4 and up)
  • Our Marching Band
    by Lloyd Moss, Diana Cain Bluthenthal (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0399233350
    Ralph loves the tuba. Maureen fancies the flute. Betsy likes the glockenspiel, and for Calvin it's the drum. Belinda prefers the trombone, Harry craves a clarinet, and Sam longs for a saxophone. And then there's Mae McCall-a natural born leader with a baton.

    What's a group like this to do? Form a marching band, of course. It's not all beautiful music at first-when the kids play, the grown-ups cringe and cover their ears. But these kids aren't giving up, and before long they have even the mayor convinced that practice does make perfect!
  • Peter and the Wolf
    by Sergei Prokofiev, Michele Lemieux
    ISBN: 0688147283
  • Sing Me a Story: The Metropolitan Opera's Book of Opera Stories for Children
    by Jane Rosenberg, Luciano Pavarotti (Introduction)
    ISBN: 0500278733
    In this vibrantly illustrated collection, 15 thrilling opera stories are brought to children in a most enjoyable way. From The Barber of Seville to Aida, these all-time favorite will stimulate a child's interest in the magic and passion of opera.
  • Stompin' at the Savoy: The Story of Norma Miller
    by Alan Govenar (Compiler), Martin French (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0763622443
    In this invigorating, humorous, and thought-provoking oral autobiography, Alan Govenar captures the sound and spirit of Norma Miller’s voice as she recalls her early years and coming of age as a determined young dancer during the heyday of swing. Augmenting her lively narrative are Martin French’s jazzy, single-color illustrations, evoking the vibrant style of vintage poster art.
  • Story of the Incredible Orchestra, The
    by Bruce Koscielniak
    ISBN: 0395960525
    Have you ever seen an orchestra perform? What are all those different instruments and how do they all play just the right note at just the right time? In this fact-filled and entertaining picture book, Bruce Koscielniak gives us a lively look at the history of the orchestra and all the instruments that make up this wonderful gathering of sound. From the "tooter, strings and beaters" of the 1600s to the keyboard synthesizers of today, this playful exploration follows the developments and trends of music and instruments over the past four hundred years.
  • Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music!
    by Meredith Hamilton (Illustrator), Robert T. Levine
    ISBN: 1579121489
    Eye-catching illustrations, engaging text and delightful musical selections on the accompanying 70-minute CD lead children ages 8 to 12 (and parents, too!) on an exciting and educational tour through the instruments and music of the orchestra. Illustrated in exquisite and colorful detail with over 100 original drawings and photographs, this package is a fun and exciting musical journey for children. The engaging text is broken into three sections: an introduction to each instrument of the orchestra from the cello to the timpani, the stories of famous composers from Bach to Stravinsky and an explanation of different musical styles from Baroque to Modern. Each step of the way, children can listen to actual musical examples of what they are learning about. Young readers will hear the sound of an actual violin as they study the instrument and enjoy the playful tune of a Mozart minuet as they read about the composer's precocious exploits as a child.
  • This Little Piggy with CD: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games and Pantomime Rhymes
    by Adam Stemple, Jane Yolen (Editor), Will Hillenbrand (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0763613487
    A timeless collection of songs and rhymes – with a bonus 15-minute CD inside!

    A delightful anthology of more than sixty lap songs, clapping games, and action rhymes. Featuring familiar favorites such as "Goosey, Goosey, Gander" and "I’m a Little Teapot." Includes direction for play, historical tidbits, and fourteen simple musical arrangements for piano and guitar.
  • When Marian Sang: True Recital of Marian Anderson, The
    by Pam Munoz Ryan (Author), Brian Selznick
    ISBN: 0439269679
    Amazon.com
    As this skilled duo did with Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Brian Selznick bring to life the story of yet another remarkable American woman, gifted black contralto Marian Anderson.

    Undoubtedly one of America's greatest singers, Anderson was hardly known in her own country because of her race--music schools ignored her applications ("We don't take colored!") and even after she began singing professionally, many venues only featured white performers. Ryan's well-paced story becomes especially poignant as she recounts Anderson's overwhelming success in Europe ("one newspaper in Sweden called it 'Marian Fever' ... In Austria, the world-famous conductor Arturo Toscanini announced that what he had heard, one was privileged to hear only once in a hundred years"). The book reaches its climax with a wordless, deep brown two-page spread from Selznick, a crowd's-eye view of Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, an historic concert that drew an integrated audience of over 75,000.

    Ryan's simple, metered text (punctuated frequently by lyrics) captures the quiet drama of Anderson's story, and kids will especially identify with the confusion and frustration of young Marian. And as with the pair's previous collaboration, Selznick's rich illustrations ably convey the undeniable strength and courage of a talented, determined woman. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
  • Yesterday I Had the Blues
    by Jeron Ashford Frame, Gregory Christie
    ISBN: 1582460841
    A young boy ponders a variety of emotions and how different members of his family experience them, from his own blues to his father's grays and his grandmother's yellows.
  • Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
    by Lloyd Moss (Author), Marjorie Priceman (Illustrator)
    ISBN: 0671882392
    Amazon.com
    "The STRINGS all soar, the REEDS implore, / The BRASSES roar with notes galore. / It's music that we all adore. / It's what we go to concerts for." In this exuberant tribute to classical music and the passionate, eccentric musicians who play it, author Lloyd Moss begins with the mournful moan and silken tone of one trombone. A trumpet sings and stings along, forming a duo, then a fine French horn joins in, "TWO, now THREE-O, what a TRIO!" The mellow cello ups it to a quartet, then ZIN! ZIN! ZIN! a violin soars high and moves in to make a quintet. The flute that "sends our soul a-shiver" makes a sextet, and "with steely keys that softly click," a sleek, black, woody clarinet slips the group into a septet. We move on! A chamber group of ten! And the orchestra is ready to begin. Moss should be congratulated for creating a playful, musical stream of rhyming couplets that seamlessly, slyly teaches the names of myriad musical groups. Marjorie Priceman, the whimsical, masterful illustrator of Elsa Okon Rael's When Zaydeh Danced on Eldridge Street and Jack Prelutsky's For Laughing Out Loud, won a Caldecott Honor Award for this swirling, twirling, colorful musical world worthy of thunderous applause and a standing ovation. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson
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