Saturday, December 8, 2007

Jazz Baby


Wheeler, Lisa. 2007. Jazz Baby. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.

I read this one months ago--probably back in the summer--and fell in love with it completely. I didn't only read it five or six times in a row. I read it aloud that many times. Sure, it's fun to read aloud to someone. But I was by myself. But I just couldn't get over how wonderful the words sounded. That doesn't always happen with picture books--even good picture books. Rhythm and sound can be tricky. And in my opinion, Jazz Baby is perfection. Jazz Baby is all about a family spending time together making sweet, sweet music. Brother's hands tap. Sister's hands snap. Itty-bitty Baby's hands clap-clap-clap! But this isn't just immediate family--no, there's plenty of room for everyone. Grandpa. Granny. Mama. Daddy. Auntie. Uncle. Cousins. They're all there. They're all having fun. They're just having the time of their lives. This is one of my favorite parts, I'm sharing it because I think it's a good example of how the text just works:
Mama swings high.
Daddy swings low.
Swingin'-singin' Baby says,
"Go, Man, Go!"

So they Boom-Boom-Boom
And they Hip-Hip-Hop
And the bouncin' baby boogies
with a Bop-Bop-Bop!
Really who could resist the line "bouncin' baby boogies with a bop-bop-bop"??? The whole book just is so perfect, so right. If you love Al Perkins' Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb you're going to love this one too!!!

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