Even though this is not about the Fall season, notice the background color/trees on the cover of today's PB. . .
Author: Anna Harwekk Celenza
Illustrator: JoAnn E. Kitchel
Themes: American Composers, Jazz, Music
Inside jacket cover: "It's 1924, and George Gershwin has just read an announcement in the newspaper saying that he's performing a new concerto in Aeolian Hall in a few weeks. The only problem is, this is news to him!
With encouragement from his brother and close friends, Gershwin seeks the inspiration to write a piece that will define American music. In his search for a new melody, Gershwin realizes that American music is much like it's people - a great melting pot of sounds, rhythms, and harmonies."
From the middle of the book (I would have begun the story here ;-}): ". . .There was a grand piano in the middle of the room, and as usual, George was drawn to it like a bear to honey. He sat down and gazed out at the twinkling lights of Manhattan. "Boy, did I miss this city!" he thought to himself. As he began to improvise, a marvelous melody rose from the piano. . ."
Why I like this book: Even though I prefer classical to jazz, I do enjoy his contributions to Broadway musicals. And any book that reveals the creative process is, of course, a winner in my book! The fact that it was published by Charlesbridge is a plus as well. . .it is a publisher I have in mind for a fact-based picture book I have begun to do research on. And, there is a bonus: an accompanying CD of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue".
Teacher's links to related resources:
YouTube original recording from 1924. . . You'll love the audience and ambiance!
*Radio Show with quizzes (subscribe to podcasts) HERE:
*Easy to read biography of Gershwin HERE:
*Videos of Gershwin's other works HERE:
*Links for more information on Jazz HERE:
*Find it HERE on Amazon.
*Review on this book and many others, along with films, music, etc!!! A gold mine. . .HERE