Never leave your cat alone . . .

h1 August 29th, 2006 by jules

parker.gifI heard it’s Charlie Parker’s birthday, so here’s a quick shout-out for Chris Raschka’s wonderful picture book Charlie Parker Played Be Bop (1992). The text has an infectious rhythm, and Raschka’s energetic, vivacious illustrations amaze, as usual (and Raschka is our most recent Caldecott Award winner); it’s jazz on the pages of a book (with a recurring line being the title of this post). Your favorite toddler will likely enjoy it, too, even if not familiar with jazz. I promise. But do yourself a favor, too, and read this one. Happy birthday, Charlie, who played that mess just like it didn’t mean a thing, ya’ll. I think I’ll listen to some jazz today in honor . . .

(Whew. See, I really can write a short post) . . .

12 comments to “Never leave your cat alone . . .”

  1. Oh, I love Chris Raschka! The first book of his I ever read was Mysterious Thelonious, which is amazing too. Raschka’s a genius at capturing jazz visually.

  2. Hi, Renee! Your blog is pretty…thanks for posting.

    I recently purchased ‘Ellington Was Not a Street,’ which features Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and more. Oh, it’s just such a perfect book. Been around a while, I know, but I’m finally getting around to owning my very own copy.

    Great picture books about jazz could be a long, wonderful thread. — jules

  3. and i agree on all counts: raschka rocks, renee’s blog is cool, and “ellington was not a street” is one of my favorite picture books of all time. it’s how i first fell in love with kadir nelson, who is so totally my boyfriend, but he doesn’t know it yet.

  4. sorry, i regressed for a bit there. to continue the thread… while they aren’t specifically jazz, i also love the music-related picture books “Blues Journey” by Walter Dean Myers (illustrated by his fabulous son Christopher Myers), “Celia Cruz: Queen of Salsa” by Veronica Chambers and illustrated by Julie Maren, and of course “When Marian Sang” by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Brian Selznick.

  5. okay, since we’ve started, there’s also Raschka’s John Coltrane book, and Andrea Davis Pinkney did an Ella Fitzgerald book and a Duke Ellington book….and Jonathan London’s “Hip Cat”…and some of Thacher Hurd’s books, such as “Mama Don’t Allow” …oh, eisha, i LOVE “When Marian Sang” ….THANK YOU for mentioning it. it is so gorgeous. hey, this blog is fun. i love talkin’ books. — jules

  6. oh, and “jazz a-b-z” by wynton marsalis, illustrated by paul rogers. so good.

  7. oooh, i wanna read that one. i just requested these titles you’re naming, eisha, from the li-berry. i’ve never seen “blues journey” and the celia cruz one…thanks. can’t wait to see ’em. — jules

  8. okay, i just linked to a great review of a new book called ‘Jazz’ by the Myers team again. click on my name, i guess (the URL is and then scroll down to today’s book review (“Review of the Day: Jazz”) — will be released soon, according to this librarian. right on. — jules

  9. oh! i am so excited about “jazz”! i love it when they collaborate – and jules, you will absolutely love “blues journey.” and i have one more for this list: “little stevie wonder” by quincy troupe and illustrated by lisa cohen. it is pure joy, and it even comes with a cd of 2 songs!

  10. Yay for books about jazz!

  11. oh, eisha, thanks for all the great book recs. i *just* experienced ‘blues journey’ — oh sweet and merciful walter dean myers, how gorgeous is that?! christopher myers really outdid himself. jump back! and the other ones you recommended — well, they’re all good….wynston marsalis had fun with the thesaurus, huh, in ‘jazz a-b-z’…i’m reading that one slowly. — jules

  12. […] could just mention this wonderful book in the picture-books-about-music thread that is going in the comments section of the “Never leave your cat alone” post. A few of us started discussing picture books […]

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