A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Mitali Perkins ( Bamboo People, Secret Keeper), Harriet Langsam Sobol (We Don't Look Like Our Mom and Dad), Kirkpatrick Hill (Do Not Pass Go, The Year of Miss Agnes), Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, (When the Wolves Returned, Saving Audie), Joan Sandin (The Long Way to a New Land), Kit Pearson (A Handful of Time), Janet Morgan Stoeke (A Hat For Minerva Louise).
- Happy birthday Louisiana, which became the 18th state in 1803. Read Today is Monday in Louisiana by Johnette Downing, illustrated by Deborah Ousley Kadair; Little Pierre: A Cajun Story from Louisiana by Robert D. Dan Souci, illustrated by David Catrow; and My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt.
- Itâ€™s the 15th anniversary of the family literacy initiative, El dĂa de los niĂ±os, El dĂa de los libros (Childrenâ€™s Day, Book Day). For more information check the ALSC website.
On April 30, 1941, over seventy years ago, the first commercially recorded work of Charlie Parker was cut at Decca Records. Born in 1920 in Kansas City, Kansas, Charlie Parker began playing the saxophone at age eleven without formal training. In 1939 he headed to New York City, where he teamed up with Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monkâ€”a group that helped invent a new type of jazz, be bop. â€śWe wanted a music that they [white band leaders] couldnâ€™t play.â€ť Nicknamed â€śthe Bird,â€ť Parker set new standards for his instrument of choice, the alto saxophone.
Chris Raschkaâ€™s Charlie Parker Played Be Bop doesnâ€™t include any of this information about â€śthe Bird,â€ť but it does contain language that captures the rhythm, sound, and spirit of the be bop Parker created. Sometimes, you can hear a book read onceâ€”and remember it almost word for word decades later. Charlie Parker Played Be Bop contains such an original and exciting text that I can quote it word for word when I picked it up to write about the bookâ€”yet I hadnâ€™t looked at theÂ text since it was published in 1992.
Raschka had already established himself as a promising young illustrator of Yo! Yes? when he turned his hand to creating art for this text of around a hundred words. Most picture book writers would have provided a brief biography of Parkerâ€”but Raschka approached the book in another way. He captures the feeling of playing music, its syncopation and sound. In the first illustration Parker looms large, filling the entire page with his saxophone. The mesmerizing, intriguing text begins:
â€śCharlie Parker played be bop.
Charlie Parker played saxophone.
The music sounded like be bop.
Never leave your cat alone.â€ť
With a fabulous combination of text and art, the book delights readers ages three to eight with its rhythm, rhyme, and unusual imagery. Charlie Parker Played Be Bop can be used to inspire creative writing or for music education. The book sends everyone, adults and children alike, off to learn more about â€śthe Bird.â€ť Iâ€™m glad that seventy years ago Charlie Parker made his first recording and very grateful to Chris Raschka for celebrating his music.
Originally posted April 30, 2011. Updated for .