4.29.2012

Jazz Age Josephine

Dancer, Singer, who's that, who?
Why, that's MISS Josephine Baker, to you!

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 
hosted today by Gathering Books

(pub. 1.3.2012)  40 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Jonah Winter
     and Illustrator:  Marjorie Priceman

haracter: Josephine Baker

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "She can Bunny Hug and Grizzly Bear. She can Turkey Trot and do the Charleston. 
       It's the 1920s, and the world is alive with the sounds of this new music called jazz. Everyone get up and dance! (Wait, not everyone.) 
       Josephine has all the moves, but she also has dark skin and some think that means she should stay in the shadows - or only play the clown. But that simply will not work for Miss Josephine. Instead she dances her way into big shows, onto big stages. She dances her way to New York and Paris. She dances her way out of poverty and into stardom..."
        
T antalizing taste: 

 "You see, the shack where she lived, 
        it didn't have no heat.
Things were sometimes so bad,
there wasn't nothin' to eat.

She slept on the floor,
newspapers for a sheet -
rats crawlin' all around,
a-nibblin' at her feet.

'Josephine,' her grandma said,
'I got a fairy tale for you.

           'Josephine, oh Josephine,
            this story's 'bout a girl like you.

Someday you're gonna be a princess -
you know what Granny says is true.'"
          

and something more: I was fascinated to learn more about Josephine Baker in Jonah Winter's Author's Note at the back of Jazz Age Josephine: "As her performing days were tapering off, Josephine adopted twelve children from around the world and called them the 'Rainbow Tribe.' Her commitment to racial integration did not stop here. In 1963, she spoke at the same civil rights convention in Washington, D.C., where the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous speech, 'I Have a Dream.'... During her funeral procession through Paris, more than 20,000 mourners lined the streets." Josephine overcome obstacles and injustices, and became the adored person her grandmother inspired her to be.

6 comments:

Zoe said...

Makes me want to put on some music and dance myself! This book looks lots of fun.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Zoe! Yes, it does, doesn't it?! Thanks for stopping by.

Books4Learning said...

Wow! This book sounds fun and inspiring! Thanks for the suggestion.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Yes, the rhythm of it makes it very appealing to read aloud. Thanks for stopping by.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi there Jeanne, I love me some Josephine Baker! Likeylike! I've been seeing this book around, I should have included it for our Girl Power theme. Just drafted a review of Becoming Billie Holiday for next week (novel in verse by Weatherford) - I have a feeling they'd be great companion books.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hey there, Myra. Yep! I think you will definitely likeylike this one. And I can't wait to read your review of Becoming Billie Holiday - I'm so intrigued by novels in verse (particularly perfect for a singer).