Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sharing Books , Sharing Music

If you are looking for a good book to share with your kids or grandkids about music, may I suggest two?
The first, by Leo and Diane Dillon, is called Jazz on a Saturday Night, and includes a bonus CD inside. Published by The Blue Sky Press (an imprint of Scholastic Inc.) in 2007, this book introduces kids to jazz, a uniquely American art form.
Imagining a “Dream Team” of musicians including Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Thelonius Monk playing together, (an event the authors are careful in the foreword to explain never actually took place) the text describes what happens on a Saturday night when jazz musicians “smile with a meeting of eyes. A cool night, a cool note – they all improvise.”
The illustrations in this book add to the fun, showcasing instruments and musicians while lending a sense of actually being there, enjoying the cool music.
A different kind of music is suggested in Nancy White Carlstrom's book Glory. Illustrated by Debra Reid Jenkins, this brightly colored book, published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, is a song of praise for the things a child might appreciate about God's creation.
Although no melody is indicated, this is a book you might read – or make up your own melody and sing – to a child who, perhaps might want to add his own verse or song of praise to God.
The language here is simple, referring to things a small child might be familiar with, or have imagined. There are references to how things sound, which can help you initiate conversation about their various musical qualities.
And – it's just a fun read, full of playful references like “Glory Glory Glory be to God for winging, swimming, singing ones of sky and sea and earth. All creatures large, all creatures small, that dance and leap and curl and crawl. . .”
It's always a good day to share a song – or a book – with someone you love!

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