LSM Newswire

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Django: World’s Greatest Jazz Guitarist

“When I think about the best guitar players ever, the first name that comes to mind is Django Reinhardt.  No one has ever equaled his sound or technique.”
—Willie Nelson 
«The story of Django Reinhardt is a natural for younger audiences…Christensen supports the inspirational story with rich, vibrant paintings that capture the texture and tone of the landscapes in Django’s life. The art steals the show here, but the text works fine, too, describing the essence of Django’s story without overwhelming middle-graders with too much detail.  (starred)            

“Christensen’s soft, rhythmic prose echoes her evocative images….A sensuous tribute to an illustrious musician.                    
School Library Journal

Jazz Americain, jazz like Django--
Moving bending changing blending
Try that rhythm, stretch that measure
Syncopation. Twist that line.

With a haunting, rhythmic, jazz-inflected text and lush oil paintings, Bonnie Christensen captures the spirit of Django Reinhardt .  Although he is considered the world’s most acclaimed jazz guitarist, he is little known to young readers and musicians.  Now, children can get to know the great Django Reinhardt whose personal story is as riveting as his music.   Born into extreme poverty, in a gypsy encampment, Django overcame tremendous obstacles, including a debilitating injury to become a legend in the annals of jazz. 
            Through evocative prose and paintings Christensen illuminates an extraordinary life and introduces a masterful musician to a new generation.  Christensen also includes an informative afterword, notes, bibliography and a selected discography. 

BONNIE CHRISTENSEN is the author-illustrator of Woodie Guthrie: Poet of the People, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book and a New York Times Notable Book. Her illustrations also appear in the London Folio Society's edition of The Grapes of Wrath and over ten children's books, including Pompeii, Lost and Found by Mary Pope Osborne. Most recently, she illustrated Ida B. Wells: Let The Truth Be Told, with text by Walter Dean Myers. Bonnie's fine art prints have been exhibited internationally. When she’s not working on books or making prints, Bonnie can be found playing violin and gloating over the fact that she shares a birthday with Django Reinhardt. The day, NOT the year! She lives in Wilson, North Carolina.

DJANGO: World’s Greatest Jazz Guitarist • by Bonnie Christensen

A Neal Porter Book/Published by Roaring Brook Press • ISBN: 978-1-59643-422-6

Hardcover Picture Book • Ages 5 to 9 / Grades K to 4 • 32 pages •  $17.99 • On Sale September 2009

Roaring Brook Press is an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.



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