Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest Post: Ben’s Trumpet

I'd put out the guest post request a while back when I went on vacation and then ended up with no internet, so now I have a backlog of books reviewed by readers. I thought rather than doing an update today, I'd share one with you. (And I know it seems of late that I'm stuck in the 70s, but fear not, I'll be back to the 60s next week!)

Welcome Amy Broadmoore, prolific book-lister of Delightful Children’s Books, clipped from her post 9 Books to Introduce Children to Jazz.


Ben's Trumpet
Rachel Isadora ~ Greenwillow Books, 1979


Author Rachel Isadora was a professional dancer studying with George Balanchine’s School of Ballet until an injury led her to begin writing and illustrating children’s books. Ben’s Trumpet was one of the first children’s books she wrote in the 1970s, and it's one of my favorites.

Ben’s Trumpet is the touching story of a boy who yearns to play the trumpet like the trumpeter he hears playing at the neighborhood Zig Zag Jazz Club. The text of Ben’s Trumpet is spare, and yet Isadora manages to tell a moving story and seamlessly introduce kids to the instruments in a jazz ensemble. An original jazz score was written to accompany Ben’s Trumpet, but the book stands alone without it.

Isadora received a Caldecott Honor for Ben’s Trumpet. While she generally creates colorful oil paintings, she used a very different black-and-white style here and in another of her early books, Max (about a boy who discovers ballet).

I love the slouchy figures Isadora drew for both Ben’s Trumpet and Max.

The illustrations are remarkably varied and incorporate graphic patterns that give a sense of jazz music playing behind the text.

I am not the only one who has been moved by this simple story. In 2009, a Boston ballet company created a ballet based on the book.

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1 comment:

Paula said...

I love this book. Our local library has it and we borrowed it. My child had never heard of jazz or a trumpet - such a great book!

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