All that Jazz

Mt. Pleasant Library

All that Jazz

Titles for Children on Music and Musicians

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Below are some books, CDs and DVDs to share with the children in your lives.

Picture Books

Jazzmatazz! by Stephanie Calmenson

When a mouse scurries into a house and starts to play jazz music, other animals join in, one by one, each using his or her own particular talent.
Jazzmatazz! Book Cover

Heaven's All Star Jazz Band book jacket

Heaven's All-Star Jazz Band by Don Carter (JUV E CARTER)

A young boy imagines his grandfather playing with jazz music greats up in heaven.

Ruby Sings the Blues by Niki Daly (JUV E DALY)

Ruby's loud voice annoys everyone around her, until she learns to control her volume with the help of her new jazz musician friends.
Ruby Sings the Blues book cover

This Jazz Man book cover

This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt (JUV E EHRHARDT)

Presents an introduction to jazz music and nine well-known jazz musicians, set to the rhythm of the traditional song, "This Old Man." Includes brief facts about each musician.
The Jazz Fly by Matthew Gollub (JUV E GOLLUB)

Seeking directions to town, a fly picks up the rhythm of the answers he gets from a frog, a hog, a donkey and a dog and then uses these sounds to jazz up his band's music.
Jazz Fly Book Cover
Ella's Big Chance book coverElla's Big Chance: A Jazz-Age Cinderella by Shirley Hughes

In this version of the Cinderella tale set in the 1920s, Ella has two men courting her--the handsome Duke of Arc and Buttons the delivery boy.
Nursery Rhyme Jazz by Andy Blackman Hurwitz

The Baby Loves Jazz band is playing favorite nursery rhymes. The board book exposes young children to the various elements that make up jazz music, and comes with a CD that includes sing-alongs and stories so that young jazz impresarios can hear what jazz music is all about.
Nursery Rhyme Jazz book cover
Little Piano Girl book coverThe Little Piano Girl by Ann Ingalls (JUV E INGALLS)

A child prodigy at the piano sprinkles her music with a little jazz. Includes an afterword about the life of the 20th-century jazz musician, Mary Lou Williams.
Violet's Music by Angela Johnson (JUV E JOHNSON)

From the days she banged her rattle in the crib, Violet has been looking for friends to share her love of music.
Violet's Music Book Cover

Hip Cat book coverHip Cat by Jonathan London

Hip Cat journeys to the city by the bay to live his dream of being a jazz musician.
Jazz by Walter Dean Myers

Illustrations and rhyming text celebrate the roots of jazz music.

Jazz book cover

Bebop Express book coverBebop Express by H.L. (Heather L.) Panahi (JUV E PANAHI)

A rollicking rhythmic express train takes passengers on a jazzy journey that celebrates the United States and its unique musical culture. This rockin', rhythmic railroad adventure celebrates the uniqueness of America and the beboppin', doo-woppin' sound of jazz, from jammin' New York City all the way to New Orleans.
Sweet Music in Harlem by Debbie A. Taylor

C.J., who aspires to be as great a jazz musician as his uncle, searches for Uncle Click's hat in preparation for an important photograph and inadvertently gathers some of the greatest musicians of 1950s Harlem to join in on the picture.
Sweet Music in Harlem Book Cover 
When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat book coverWhen Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat by Muriel Harris Weinstein (JUV E WEINSTEIN)

After dancing to music on the radio before she goes to bed, a young girl learns how to sing scat when Louis Armstrong comes to her in a dream. Includes facts about Louis Armstrong and scat singing.
Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler (JUV E WHEELER)

Baby and his family make some jazzy music.

Jazz Baby book cover 

Children's Fiction

Riding on Duke's Train BookCoverRiding on Duke's Train by Mick Carlon

Nine-year-old Danny, an orphan, hitches a ride on a train one night in Georgia in 1937, and before he knows it, he has a home in Harlem with Duke Ellington, meets many famous musicians, and tours America and, later, the world with Duke's orchestra.
Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite by Anna Harwell Celenza

Tells the story of how jazz composer and musician Duke Ellington, along with Billy Strayhorn, created his jazz composition based on Tchaikovsky's famous Nutcracker Suite ballet. Includes author's note.
Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite book cover
Jessica the Jazz Fairy book Cover

Jessica the Jazz Fairy by Daisy Meadows

Part of the Rainbow Magic, Dance Fairies series, number 5.

A Good Night for Ghosts by Mary Pope Osborne (JUV J OSBORNE)

Jack and Annie must travel back in time to New Orleans in 1915 to help a teenaged Louis Armstrong fulfill his destiny and become the "King of Jazz."
A Good Night for Ghosts book cover

Children's Nonfiction
From Ragtime to Hip-Hop book coverFrom  Ragtime to Hip-Hop: A Century of Black American Music By Adam Woog
(JUV 781.64 WOOG)

Examines the diversity of Black American music.


Jazz on a Saturday Night
by Leo Dillon (JUV 781.65 DILLON)
Jazz on a Saturday Night book cover

History of Jazz book cover

The History of Jazz by Stuart A. Kallen (JUV 781.65 KALLEN)

Discusses the origins of jazz, famed jazz musicians, musical movements within the genre, and jazz's influence on rock 'n' roll.
Woodwind by Roger Thomas (JUV 788.21 THOMAS)

Includes information on the saxophone family, woodwind players in jazz, rock and pop.
Woodwind book cover

Hip Hop Speaks to Children book cover

Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat  edited by Nikki Giovanni (JUV 811 HIP HOP)

More than 50 poems and an accompanying CD introduce poetry with a beat.
Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World by Marilyn Nelson (JUV 811 NELSON)

A look at a 1940's all-female jazz band that originated from a boarding school in Mississippi and found its way to the most famous ballrooms in the country, offering solace during the hard years of the war.
Sweethearts of Rhythm book cover
Jazz A-B-Z book coverJazz A-B-Z by Wynton Marsalis

Includes information on Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Gerry Mulligan, Abdullah Ibn Buhaina, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Nat "King" Cole, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker, Modern Jazz Quartet, Sonny Rollins, Sidney Bechet, Thelonious Monk, Eubie Blake, Sarah Vaughan, Fats Waller, Bix Beiderbecke, Lester Young and Dizzy Gillespie.
Sophisticated Ladies: The Great Women of Jazz by Leslie Gourse (JUV 920 GOURSE)

Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters,  Mildred Bailey, Mabel Mercer, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day, Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter, Rosemary Clooney , Cassandra Wilson and Diana Krall.
Sophisticated Ladies book cover
Louis Armstrong book cover

Louis Armstrong: Jazz Legend by Elizabeth Raum (JUV 92 ARMSTRONG)
Play, Louis, Play! : The True Story of a Boy and His Horn by Muriel Harris Weinstein
Play Louis Play book cover

Jazz Age Josephine Book CoverJazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter

A tribute to the life of the iconic jazz entertainer depicts her disadvantaged youth in a segregated America, her unique performance talents, and the irrepressible sense of style that helped her overcome racial barriers.
Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Scat Cat Monroe narrates a celebration of the life and career of the first lady of song, noting her distinctive style and far-ranging impact upon contemporary music.
Ella Fitzgerald book cover
Skit-Scat book cover

Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat : Ella Fitzgerald by Roxane Orgill (JUV 92 FITZGERALD)

Follows the beloved American jazz singer's rise to fame, describing the difficult historical and cultural factors that she overcame.
Romare Bearden: Collage of Memories by Jan Greenberg

Recounts the life of the 20th-century African-American collage artist who used his southern childhood, New York City, jazz and Paris to influence his bold and meaningful art.
Romare Bearden book cover
Before John was a Jazz Giant Book CoverBefore John was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane by Carole Boston Weatherford (JUV 92 COLTRANE)

This lyrical picture-book biography of John Coltrane focuses on his childhood and how he interpreted sounds before he made his music.
Duke Ellington by Richard Terrill (JUV 92 ELLINGTON)

Includes information on the early years, Harlem, the Cotton Club, the swing era, Ellington at Newport, etc.
Duke Ellington Book Cover
Duke Ellington Activities book cover

Duke Ellington: His Life in Jazz with 21 Activities by Stephanie Stein Crease
Duke Ellington: Jazz Composer by Judy Monroe (JUV 92 ELLINGTON)

Biography of African-American musician Duke Ellington, who influenced jazz and popular music in general.
Duke Ellington Jazz Composer book cover
Ella Fitzerald First Lady of Jazz Book Cover

Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Jazz by Megan Schoeneberger (JUV 92 FITZGERALD)

Brief introduction to the life of jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, who recorded more than 200 albums and performed at Carnegie Hall 26 times.
Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker (JUV 92 TATUM)

The story of the young Art Tatum, who became one of the all-time greats of jazz piano.
Piano Starts Here book cover

Children's Audiovisual

Children's DVDs

Romare Bearden DVD coverRomare Bearden: Visual Jazz (JUV DVD)

A bold brilliant artist, Romare Bearden created collages and paintings of stunning humanity in which he aimed to do nothing less than 'to redefine the image of man' in terms of the African-American experience.

Children's Music

Choo-Choo Soul by Greg Johnson
Choo-Choo Soul CD cover

Golden Slumbers CD Cover

Golden Slumbers: A Father’s Lullaby by Dave Koz

Saxophone with jazz ensemble music.
Go Baby Go! by Baby Loves Jazz Band

The Baby Loves Jazz Band is made up of the best and brightest stars of the jazz universe playing classic kids tunes (plus some new favorites) in the funkiest, most soulful and real way that will get parents singing along, too.
Go Baby Go CD Cover
Jazz for Kids CD cover

Jazz for Kids: Sing, Clap, Wiggle and Shake  (JUV MUSIC CD)
Jazz for Peanuts: A Retrospective of the Charlie Brown TV Themes by David Benoit (JUV MUSIC CD)Jazz for Peanuts CD Cover

Jazz Playground CD cover

Jazz Playground by Lewis Franco (JUV MUSIC CD)

Miss Ella's Playhouse
by Ella Fitzgerald

Popular jazz songs for children sung by Ella Fitzgerald.
Miss Ella's Playhouse CD Cover

Randy Sandke's Jazz for Juniors BookCoverRandy Sandke's Jazz for Juniors by Randy Sandke
(JUV CD 782.42 SANDK)

A story told in words, pictures and song about some lovable animals--and their love of jazz!

Children's Kits

Duck Ellington Swings through the Zoo by Andy Blackman Hurwitz

Duck goes through the zoo playing his jazz music for the animals.
Duck Ellington Swings Through the Zoo cover
Charlie Played Be Bop book coverCharlie Parker Played Be Bop by Christopher Raschka (KIT JUV E RASCHKA)

Introduces the famous saxophonist and his style of jazz known as bebop: includes "Night in Tunisia" written by Dizzy Gillespie from the CD Jazz at Massey Hall published by Universal MCA Music Publishing, courtesy of Fantasy, Inc.

Children's BODs

Dizzy by Jonah Winter (CD JUV 92 GILLESPIE)

Born into poverty and the victim of vicious parental abuses, Dizzy received a trumpet one day, and it changed his life forever. Dizzy follows Gillespie's journey from rural South Carolina to New York City--straight into the burgeoning jazz scene he soon immersed himself in.
Dizzy book cover