Friday, September 15, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Just a Lucky So and So

Lesa and James have done it again. This excellent picture book biography of Louis Armstrong is filled with luscious illustrations of scenes from Satchmo's life. It sounds unbelievable to hear that he was born "black and poor and lucky." How could those things all be true at the same time? But the narrative tells us how he grew up surrounded by the rich musical heritage of New Orleans, and how being sent to the Colored Waif's Home for Boys actually turned out to be a good thing for him. Spreads saturated with color show us Louis marching as bandleader, the full moon shining on the riverboat where he played swing music, and crowds dancing in the honky-tonks. The final scene of Louis surrounded by the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, and marquis signs from famous clubs underscores how far he had come from that "one room with no lights and no running water" in The Battlefield.

The author's note shares the names of some of his hits, details of his jazz recording with Duke Ellington, and his Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. There is also a list of resources for learning more about Armstrong and his music. 

I received a copy from the publisher for review purposes.

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