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Jazz Journey


Anyone who knows me well, knows my affection for music. What most people don’t know is that my love for music is so strong, I typically have songs playing in my head from the moment my eyes open in the morning til the time I close them at night. I must admit, sometimes it can be a little annoying when only one song plays the entire day. And if it’s a commercial jingle, boy am I agitated!

Anywho, I recently stumbled upon the Junior Library Guild’s review Bibliographies to Blow Your Mind and was immediately reminded of a conversation I had with our band director a few weeks ago. We typically talk music when we cross each other’s path, because she knows my musical background and passion for it. With it being summer, I asked when band camp would start and what show she had chosen for the upcoming season. Let me just tell you, sparks flew when she let me in on their little secret. Ok, so it’s probably not really a secret, but I’d like to think I have the exclusive. In honor of the Central High School marching band’s upcoming New Orleans “journey through jazz” show, I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to highlighting a few awesome books chronicling jazz musicians. He may not be your “traditional” jazz artist, but I couldn’t leave out Trombone Shorty – the leader of a “hard-edge funk band that employs hip-hop beats, rock dynamics, and improvisation in a jazz tradition” (“Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue,” n.d.) – seeing as though his biography was the first one listed in the review of bibliographies AND our band will be ending the show with one of his numbers. Continue reading

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Where’s Walrus?


Where’s Walrus?

Written & illustrated by Stephen Savage

Published by Scholastic Press, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-439-70049-8

Format: Picturebook

32 Pages ~ Ages 3-5

Brief Summary

A bored walrus decides today is the day he will become adventurous. This makes for a busy pursuit through the city for the zookeeper as he sets out to find the walrus, who cleverly disguises himself as a construction worker, businessman, and even a window mannequin at a department store. When the walrus visits a local swim competition, he reveals his true talents. The zookeeper gets a bright idea that convinces the walrus to come back to the zoo.

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Finding The Right Word


The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurusword

Written by Jen Bryant

Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5385-1

Format: Picturebook biography

42 Pages ~ Ages 7-12

Brief Summary

After the death of Peter Mark Roget’s father, his family moved a lot, making it difficult to make friends. Peter found companionship in books. He would later write his own book. Only his didn’t tell a story. The Right Word tells of how a young, smart doctor eventually published the lists of words he organized over the years. Peter Roget sometimes found the word he used didn’t accurately portray what he actually felt so he needed to find the right word. This prompted him to list words that were synonymous and categorize them in his book by idea.

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The Dark Really Isn’t That Scary


The Dark

Written by Lemony Snicket

Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Published by Little, Brown, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-316-18748-0

Format: Picturebook; hardcover

40 Pages ~ Ages 4-7

Brief Summary

Laszlo lives in a creepy, old house. So does the dark; in the basement. “Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark is not afraid of Laszlo.” One night while Laszlo sleeps, the dark wakes him and lures him to the basement. Laszlo worriedly faces his fear and finds out the dark is not so scary after all. Laszlo isn’t afraid of the dark anymore.

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Children Make Terrible Pets


Children Make Terrible Pets

Written & illustrated by Peter Brown

Published by Little, Brown, 2010

ISBN: 9780316015486

Format: Picturebook

40 Pages ~ Ages 3-8

Brief Summary

Lucy Bear happens upon a “critter” lost in the woods one day. He’s so cute that she takes him home and asks her mother if she can keep him as her pet. Lucy is having the time of her life…until things start to turn around. It doesn’t take her long to realize children make terrible pets. What started off all fun and games quickly takes a turn for the worse when Squeaker (her pet) shows Lucy how what a handful pets can be.

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