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How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz
by Jonah Winter, Illustrated by Keith Mallett

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $17.99
    Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
    Classification: Nonfiction
    Target Age Group: Picture Book
    ISBN13: 9781596439634
    Imprint: Roaring Brook Press
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Parent Company: Holtzbrinck Publishing Group
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    Book Description:
    "This informational picture book covers self-proclaimed "Inventor of Jazz" Jelly Roll Morton’s contribution to the musical scene." Winter describes the atmosphere of the early 1900s in general terms and often uses rhyming verses to advance the story ("I thought I heard Mister Jelly Roll too/Sayin’ ’I invented jazz in 1902./It was me who invented jazz-’cause it sure wasn’t you.’/I thought I heard him too…"). The text is confusing in places, and readers may have to refer to the back matter to clarify certain statements. For instance, the author explains that Morton didn’t truly invent jazz but created his own, inimitable style. It’s Mallett’s attractive, painterly, oil-on-canvas illustrations that are the real draw here, with many spreads featuring dark silhouettes positioned on vibrant backgrounds of orange and yellows among a swirl of musical notes. VERDICT While this book isn’t one of Winter’s strongest works, there is a dearth of material on this star jazz musician, making it suitable supplemental material on the Jazz Age or a possibility for biography collections." —School Library Journal

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