What’s one of the best ways to make a jazz fan for life? Start early. The books listed below can help, and they’re just 10 out of many excellent jazz-related children’s books that have been published in the past quarter-century or so. No rankings here, as these titles aren’t all meant for the same age group—although kids from preschool to middle school and beyond are likely to get a kick out of each one.
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown (illustrated by Frank Morrison) - Lee & Low, 2014
Arguably, Melba Liston doesn’t get enough respect from those who write about jazz for adults, which makes Russell-Brown’s biographical work here extremely welcome. And Morrison’s illustrations have an outstanding musicality all their own.
Mick Carlon: Riding on Duke’s Train (Leapfrog Press, 2011)
Roxane Orgill and Leonard Jenkins (illustrator): If I Only Had a Horn: Young Louis Armstrong (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2002)
Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney: Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra (Hyperion, 1998)