Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa

by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney have created an energetic, enthusiastic picture... read more

Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney have created an energetic, enthusiastic picture book biography of singer Ella Fitzgerald. A clever arrangement has the text divided into four “tracks,” mimicking musical selections on a CD: “Hoofin in Harlem,” “Jammin’ at Yale,” “Stompin’ at the Savoy,” and “Carnegie Hall Scat.” Ella’s story is told by a cool cat—literarally—a feline named “Scat Cat Monroe.” His hip, lively delivery makes for an entertaining narrative, which is paired with the swirling, swaying scratchboard illustrations full of musical motion. An author’s note provides additional context for young readers’ understanding of Ella’s contribution to American music, while an illustrator’s note references several artists of the Harlem Renaissance whose works were an inspiration in creating the illustrations. A Videography and a Selected Discography will help children and adults alike find ways to experience Ella’s life and music in ways that can complement this vibrant volume. Winner, CCBC Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Discussion (Ages 6-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2003

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