What’s in a Name?

Gargoyle Bruce, the famous Bookshelf Gargoyle, has posed a reading challenge for 2014 — The Small Fry Safari Readers Challenge. I am offering up my second entry for this challenge — Category #4A book with someone’s name in the title.

We recently had a SERENDIPITOUS visit to my favorite book store, Half-Price Books and found TWO fabulous books with TWO fabulous NAMES! So, I have TWO books to offer up! Double Duty for this one.

First up!

IMG_4966Sweethearts of Rhythm, The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World

Written by Marilyn Nelson and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Published by Dial Books in 2009

This is a most fabulous book!!! Not just because it’s about Rhythm (ME!) It’s fabulous because it is!! It’s about an all-girl jazz band put together in the 1940s during the war years. From the dustjacket – “They dared to be an interracial group despite the cruelties of Jim Crow laws, and they dared to assert their talents although they were women in a “man’s” profession. The story is told through the voices of the instruments. In verse.

“I led the band in an artillery
of wittlily syncopated quarter notes,
or with the buttery longing her strong lips drew from me
until a warbling April morning filled my throat!”

Heart thumping. And the artwork is mesmerizing. Mr Pinkney lets you feel the RHYTHM on every page. Magic.

IMG_4968At the back of the book is a chronological history of the Sweethearts of Rhythm. In 1909 Laurence C. Jones founded the Piney Woods Country Life School in Piney Woods, Mississippi for poor and orphaned African American children. In 1937 he organized an all-girl band of students from the school. The band included a Chinese saxophonist, a Hawaiian trumpeter, and a Mexican clarinetest along with all the African American musicians, so he called the band the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. They started touring to raise money for the school.

There is also a “note” from the author and one from the artist. Both give some background about the birth of this book. And a bibliography for further research.

I am in love with this book! It is a magical journey — and my feet can’t be still. Dancing to the RHYTHM!

Whew! Now onto my Second selection for the NAME category —

IMG_4963You Are My Cupcake (Cupcake is my good buddie and the star of Cupcake Speaks)

This is a little board book done by Joyce Wan.

Published by Scholastic Cartwheel Books in 2011.

It is a cute menu of endearments often spoken to small ones and dogs and loved ones. As in “you are my cupcake!” And “my mushy little sweet pea.” That’s what my Mom Person calls me a lot – Sweet Pea. Not mushy though. Maybe she will add mushy to it now after reading this book. It is a cute book with big bold words and pictures. Pastel colors with sprinkles on top!

IMG_4965Ms Wan has a great website where you can see more of her work – including cards and books and fun stuff!

So there you have it folks! Two for the price of one – going on safari! Be sure and mosey on over to Bruce’s Shelf and see what other safari titles you might find.

And for your listening enjoyment, here’s a taste of those Sweethearts of Rhythm

I wish you a day of song and dance and plenty of sweet treats!
Your dancing friend
Rhythm

Copy of img311

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16 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Joyce Wan is a very talented friend of mine, so I am so happy you reviewed one of her lovely books, CUPCAKE. BTW, she has her own first little Cupcake now, born last week!

  2. Love your shares. The first book is similar to my share about Janet Collins last Friday — great to share for black history month too. It’s important that kids know the beginnings, because they don’t. And, the Cupcake book is adorable.

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