Jazz picture books are in abundance; maybe because it is a topic of interest to so many authors and illustrators. Be sure to play some jazz music during the storytime. Pass out scarves to have a jazz dance activity, too. For an art project, I would allow the children to do some free form art, since Jazz encourages improvisation – maybe finger painting outside if possible!
Isadora, Rachel. BEN’S TRUMPET. Ben plays an imaginary trumpet, until neighborhood musicians buy him a real one.
Weatherford, Carole Boston. JAZZ BABY. Toddlers move, play, and hum to the jazz beat.
Crow, Kristyn. COOL DADDY RAT. Son rat hides in dad’s bass case, and goes with him on gigs.
Taylor, Debbie. SWEET MUSIC IN HARLEM. C.J. joins the historic photo of great jazz musicians, taken one morning in Harlem.
Burleigh, Robert. LOOKIN’ FOR BIRD IN THE BIG CITY. Teenage trumpet player Miles Davis looks for his musical hero Charlie Parker.
London, Jonathan. HIP CAT. Hip Cat comes to San Francisco to be a jazz musician. Also featured on a Reading Rainbow TV show DVD.
Raschka, Christopher. MYSTERIOUS THELONIUS. Musical notes are shown as colors in this imaginative book.
Dillon, Leo and Diane. JAZZ ON A SATURDAY NIGHT. An imaginary concert by all-star jazz musicians is described in this story.
Weinstein, Muriel. WHEN LOUIS ARMSTRONG TAUGHT ME TO SCAT. Jazz legend Armstrong teaches a little girl how to scat sing.