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Carol Friedman’s Kitty Literature

As anyone who’s perused the oversized pages of photographer Carol Friedman’s 1999 book The Jazz Pictures knows, she can capture the essence of a musician with her camera. But, as serious and classy as the black and white images in that book are, Friedman has a playful side which is very much in evidence between the covers of Nicky the Jazz Cat, her new book for kids out November 15 via Dominick Books.

The new book does feature shots of jazz stars, but its main character is Friedman’s pet black cat Nicky. Nicky appears in every picture in the 36-page book, lounging on couches along with top jazz talent: Roy Eldridge, Quincy Jones, Lena Horne, Gerry Mulligan, Abbey Lincoln and Lionel Hampton. This time Friedman presents her subjects in color and, appropriately for a children’s book, wrote rhyming verse that accompanies the photos in big, multi-colored text. While most kids more than five years old will be too old for the book, it could help an older fan of jazz’s old guard to get in touch with his or her inner child.

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