The third (and final) fall Butler Book Banter (B3), the Butler Center’s popular youth literature discussion group, is taking place Tuesday 11/10/15, 6:00-8:00 p.m. All GSLIS students and youth-services colleagues are welcome!
This month, we’ll be talking about kids’ books about music; primarily those that attempt to present a song or a genre in picture-book format. How do authors and illustrators “translate” an aural medium to a visual/textual one? What works? What doesn’t? I’m thinking specifically of Bird & Diz by Gary Golio, illustrated by Ed Young (Candlewick, 2015). I’m reminded of Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka (Scholastic, 1992), an old favorite that gave my own son his very first spoken words (“fisk, fisk”).
We’ll also take some time to look at some new biographies of musicians; there seems to be a large crop out this year that follow in the tradition of classics such as When Marion Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic, 2002) or Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow by Gary Golio, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe (Clarion, 2010). This year’s offerings include Elvis by Bonnie Christensen (Holt/Christy Ottaviano, 2015) and Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans, illustrated by Joe Cepeda (Holiday, 2015).
There are many, many other types of books for kids about music, from music appreciation such as Blues Journey by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers (Holiday, 2003) or M Is for Music by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Stacy Innerst (Harcourt, 2003); to presentations of single songs such as God Bless the Child by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr., illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (HarperCollins, 2004).
We’ll be specifically talking about the books from 2015, but we’ll have lots of old favorites on hand to use for comparison and discussion. Feel free to bring your own favorite and share it with us!
We’ll also be listening to some of the music under discussion, so we can hear the sounds that inspired the words and pictures. See you next Tuesday!
I wish I lived closer so I could join you; sounds awesome!
Many thanks for including “Bird & Diz” in your musical kids’ books discussion group! Glad to see Bonnie Christensen’s “Elvis” there, as well.
Gary, you are very welcome! We had a fantastic discussion about “Bird & Diz,” especially its innovative format. I’ve been a fan of your work ever since I served on the Coretta Scott King Book Award Jury that honored “Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow.” Incidentally, “Bird & Diz” has also been nominated by my Mock Caldecott class this fall….stay tuned (pun intended :-))!
Assistant Dean and Curator, Butler Children’s Literature Center
Dominican University GSLIS