Book Beats: Jazz in Children’s Picture Books


Igus, Toyomi. I see the rhythm. J780

A poetic look at the history of African American music told by Toyomi Igus and portrayed

by the artist Michele Wood.

Monceaux, Morgan. Jazz: My Music, My People. J785.42

The story of jazz greats told through the art and personal recollections of the author

growing up in Louisiana in the 1950’s.

London, Jonathan. Who Bop? J811.54

Cool cats and hip hares dance to the poetic beat of Jazz-bo’s saxophone.

Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Duke Ellington. J92

A Caldecott Honor book depicts the life of Duke Ellington in stunning paint box colors.


Bartlett, T.C. Tuba Lessons.

A little boy walks through the woods to his tuba lessons, but a bouncing note carries him away on a lively adventure.

Burleigh, Robert. Lookin’ for Bird in the Big City.

Young Miles Davis searches New York City trying to find Charlie Parker.

Gollub, Matthew. The Jazz Fly.

The Jazz fly uses the voices of the frog, the hog, and the donkey in his night club act.

Music CD is included.

Goss, Linda. The Frog Who Wanted to Be a Singer.

The birds are the only animals that sing in the forest until Frog sings “dooba dooba,´a

form of Boogie-woogie piano blues.

Hurd, Thatcher. Mama Don’t Allow.

Miles got a saxophone for his birthday and gets a gig together for the Alligator Ball. He

cleverly escapes when he discovers that Swamp Band Soup is on the dinner menu.

Isadora, Rachel. Ben’s Trumpet.

Ben spends his evenings sitting on the fire escape listening to the sounds from the Zig

Zag Jazz Club. He feels the rhythm and dreams of playing the trumpet.

Isadora, Rachel. Bring on that Beat.

Set in Harlem in the 1930’s the music begins when a jazz trio plays under a streetlight.

London, Jonathan. Hip Cat.

Hip Cat travels to San Francisco to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz musician.

Raschka, Chris. Charlie Parker Played Be Bop.

A simple introduction to the renown saxophonist, Charlie Parker.

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