Kirkus Reviews QR Code
JAZZ ON A SATURDAY NIGHT by Leo Dillon

JAZZ ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

By Leo Dillon (Author) , Diane Dillon (Author) , Leo Dillon (Illustrator) , Diane Dillon (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-590-47893-9
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

The Dillons deliver their take on one of children’s publishing trends du jour. Imagining a “dream band” made of actual jazz greats—some of whom actually played together—the authors paint stylized, affectionate portraits of eight artists—including Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Ella Fitzgerald—playing in a room full of seated, enthralled fans, young and old. Below each double spread, couplets run across a uniform border of white space. The unremitting end rhymes sometimes subvert scansion, and the anonymous narrator’s purported emotional involvement in the evening seems stilted. The choice of Stanley Clarke as the bass player seems odd, since he’s more than a generation this side of the other musicians; and the “guest with guitar” is neither named nor featured in the backmatter’s brief biographies. While the handsome paintings’ fidelity to the musicians’ likenesses is mainly irreproachable, the depictions of Ella vary considerably from spread to spread, never really capturing her essence. A CD (on which the authors introduce the instruments and a band and singer do the book’s lyrics as a jazz tune) is included. (Picture book. 5-8)