Saturday, March 04, 2017

Just a Lucky So and So

Just a Lucky So and So. Lesa Cline-Ransome. Illustrated by James Ransome. 2016. Holiday House. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: In New Orleans, Louisiana, in a part of town outside of Storyville, tucked in a corner called Back o' Town, in a section nicknamed the Battlefield, Little Louis Armstrong was born, black and poor and lucky.

Premise/plot: Just A Lucky So and So is a picture book biography of Louis Armstrong. The book focuses on his childhood and ends with the beginning of his successful career. It is very much a story focused on JAZZ MUSIC. Is it a picture book for young readers or older readers? Is it possible best-suited for adults? I can't answer that perfectly. I think it depends entirely on the life-experiences and interests of the reader.

My thoughts: I love Louis Armstrong. Love, love, LOVE Louis Armstrong. In fact, some of his songs would top my list of BEST SONGS IN THE WHOLE WORLD list. (Some of my favorites: La Vie En Rose, A Kiss To Build a Dream On, What A Wonderful World, Hello Dolly, Kiss of Fire, I Get Ideas, It's Been A Long, Long Time, It Takes Two To Tango, They Can't Take That Away From Me, Cheek to Cheek, I Won't Dance, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off, A Fine Romance, Our Love Is Here to Stay. I could go on.) So my interest level in this picture book biography was high. Any children's book about Louis Armstrong is one I'm going to "need" to review.

I liked this one very much. I loved seeing Armstrong quoted throughout the biography. If this is a trend in picture book biographies, I love it!

I would definitely recommend that if you are going to share this one with children, that you share his music as well. He's very charismatic, and, I think the more familiar you are with his work--his music, his performances, his films, etc--the more you'll appreciate this one. 

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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