Saturday, January 14, 2012

Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite

Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite. Anna Harwell Celenza. Illustrated by Don Tate. 2011. Charlesbridge.  32 pages.

In Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite, Anna Harwell Celenza shares with young people the story behind this jazz legend's recording of the Nutcracker Suite. The book is set in 1960, and it follows the story of 'the nutcracker suite' from just an idea all the way to the recording studios. It is the story of how Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn make the Nutcracker their own. Much of the story takes place in the recording studio as Ellington introduces his band to the music. Emphasis is on the new song titles and their inspiration.
The good news? This picture book includes a recording of Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite. Readers get to hear thirty minutes of jazz. The bad news? Without the recording to accompany it, well, the text wouldn't be much. The story isn't that much of a story. Yes, it has a fictional framework to support the facts. But it's the music itself that will make this one memorable.

Read Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite:
  • If you like the Nutcracker Suite and are curious about how it can be jazzed up for new audiences
  • If you like jazz music, if you like Duke Ellington
  • If you like picture books based on true events
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Beth 9:45 PM  

Ohhh, this look fun! I am putting this down. Duke Ellington would be a fun study for our music studies.

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