This Jazz Man
By Karen Ehrhardt
Illustrated by P.G. Roth
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006, Paperback edition 2015, Boston, $6.99)
Although many people believe jazz is an acquired taste, Karen Ehrhardt and illustrator P.G. Roth have made the genre entrancing to the youngest readers and listeners. In This Jazz Man, they introduce children to some of jazz’s most famous and innovative figures. The text, set to the tune of “This Old Man,” celebrates Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and other legendary jazz musicians. Jazz beats float over Roth’s mixed media portraits of the artists. Children will enjoy searching for the music-loving mouse who appears in each spread, one of the book’s more whimsical touches. Brief profiles of each musician follow the verse narrative. This Jazz Man should have readers and listeners of all ages snapping their fingers and tapping their toes.
-Dorothy A. Dahm