Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Little Piano Girl; The Story of Mary Lou Williams, Jazz Legend

Illustrated by Giselle Potter

     From the very first page you can tell this is going to be a fun book to read.  Mary is riding on a train and is clapping and singing along to the sounds she hears.  The author's don't just tell us that, they show us, "She sang the sound of its whistle, 'Chug-ga, chug-ga, chug-ga...Toot! Toot!'  The train went faster, leaving home behind.  'Clackety-clack! Clackety-clack! Clackety-clack! Mary clapped and sang softly so that Mama and her sister, Mamie, could sleep." (1) 

     There seems to be a whole new genre of biographies in fiction format, making them perfect read-alouds.  Authors Ingalls and Macdonald wrote this with such a good rhythm that the words practically POP off the page.  Everything snaps together while we learn about Mary Lou Williams and how she learned to play sitting on her mother's lap at the age of three.  The illustrations by Giselle Potter (The Boy Who Loved Words) are bold and evoke an early era. 

5/5 picnic basket rating

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