Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A-TISKET, A-TASKET by Ella Fitzgerald


by Ella Fitzgerald & illustrated by Ora Eitan

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-23206-0
Publisher: Philomel

Ella Fitzgerald’s words to this familiar nursery rhyme are coupled with vivacious mixed-media illustrations in sophisticated shades of mustard, lime green, brick red, turquoise, black, and gray. Creative design, beginning with endpapers printed with the musical score of “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” and continuing throughout with unconventional type placement (some spreads must be turned on their sides to be read), echoes the groundbreaking nature of early jazz. The rhyme follows one child, clad in oversize baseball hat and baggy pants, who writes a letter to his mommy, but then drops the basket that holds the precious letter: “On the way I dropped it. I dropped it, I dropped it, my little yellow basket.” A little girl, in a short patterned skirt and gold hoop earrings, picks up the basket, “truckin’ on down the avenue without a single thing to do.” Both children, adult folks who attempt to help locate the basket, and a little dog dance and prance against a colorful urban background of shadowy skyscrapers, street markets, bridges, shops, and parks; the energetic figures are stylized rather than realistic. The ending is happy, as the little girl peeks from behind a tree at the little boy, who is overjoyed at the basket’s recovery. It’s terrific to have Fitzgerald’s child-friendly song available in a visual format, and adult fans of the “First Lady of Jazz” will welcome this opportunity to share her talent with children. (Picture book. 4-8)