JAZZ AGE JOSEPHINE by Jonah Winter
Kirkus Star

JAZZ AGE JOSEPHINE

Dancer, Singer—Who's That, Who? Why, That's MISS Josephine Baker to You!
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

The African-American singer and dancer was idolized in France because of her extraordinary talent as a stage performer and scorned in the United States because of her color.

Winter recounts Baker’s desperately poor childhood in St. Louis, her breakthrough into show business in New York and her move to Paris at the height of the Roaring Twenties in flight from racial prejudice. There, she dazzled audiences with her risqué musical routines and colorfully scanty costumes, especially the famous fake-banana skirt. Winter, a prolific author of picture-book biographies, uses rhyming couplets and verbal riffs, accentuated by lively typeface, for a highly energetic telling. “It’s the Shake, / the Shimmy, / and the Mess Around! / No one sleeps / when she’s in town!” Priceman, a Caldecott Honor recipient, uses her trademark swirling lines and bright colors in inks and gouache to show off Baker’s fantastic moves at almost cinematic speed. Not in the text but in the author’s note is information about Baker during World War II, when she worked for the French Resistance. That grateful country gave her medals and buried her with honors. More recently, Diana Ross and Beyoncé have copied her moves.

In any consideration of noteworthy lives, Baker stands tall and sparkles as a determined, brave and singular woman of color. (author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4169-6123-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2012




PERFORMING ARTISTS IN PICTURE-BOOK BIOGRAPHIES:

ChildrenTHE GIRL ON THE HIGH-DIVING HORSE by Linda Oatman High
by Linda Oatman High
ChildrenELLA FITZGERALD by Andrea Davis Pinkney
by Andrea Davis Pinkney
ChildrenBALLET OF THE ELEPHANTS by Leda Schubert
by Leda Schubert
ChildrenHOUDINI by Kathleen Krull
by Kathleen Krull
ChildrenBE WATER, MY FRIEND by Ken Mochizuki
by Ken Mochizuki

MORE BY JONAH WINTER

ChildrenLILLIAN'S RIGHT TO VOTE by Jonah Winter
by Jonah Winter
ChildrenHOW JELLY ROLL MORTON INVENTED JAZZ by Jonah Winter
by Jonah Winter
ChildrenTHE FOUNDING FATHERS! by Jonah Winter
by Jonah Winter
ChildrenJOLTIN' JOE DIMAGGIO by Jonah Winter
by Jonah Winter
ChildrenJFK by Jonah Winter
by Jonah Winter

MORE BY MARJORIE PRICEMAN

ChildrenWHO SAYS WOMEN CAN'T BE DOCTORS? by Tanya Lee Stone
by Tanya Lee Stone
ChildrenJULIE ANDREWS' TREASURY FOR ALL SEASONS by Julie Andrews
by Julie Andrews

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenBABY FLO by Alan Schroeder
by Alan Schroeder
ChildrenMISTER AND LADY DAY by Amy Novesky
by Amy Novesky
ChildrenELLINGTON WAS NOT A STREET by Ntozake Shange
by Ntozake Shange
ChildrenELLA FITZGERALD by Andrea Davis Pinkney
by Andrea Davis Pinkney