Thursday, February 16, 2023

The ABCs of Women in Music

Gr 1-3-This vibrantly illustrated alphabet book features a selection of musical women from across history. Every entry gives the name and area of expertise for each woman - singer, instrumental musician, producer, composer, etc. Details such as which performer used her voice to support the Civil Rights Movement or who has succeeded in vocations previously limited to men are explained simply. The images show women poised at the piano, working at a sound board, or with pen in hand composing a song. Every woman is shown in a pose that captures her musical focus, but also includes easily recognizable details such as Dolly's smile, Pink's hair, or Selena's costume. A small caption includes the dates of birth and death (where relevant), so that readers may get a sense of the time period during which each woman worked or is still working. Back matter includes worksheets that invite readers to list their favorite song or role model, as well as sending them back into the book to find "Who wrote an opera about burnt toast? " or "Who was known as the Queen of Jazz?" A link to the publisher's website takes the curious to more resources, such as a Spotify playlist showcasing the women, and a video interview with the author and illustrator. VERDICT An introduction to musical history that represents a diversity of backgrounds and abilities, perfect for filling out music classrooms and library collections.

My review originally appeared in School Library Journal, June 2022 p.64.

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