Friday, December 3, 2010

Scat's Where It's at on Poetry Friday

My friend, Charm City poet Shirley Brewer, turned me on to a great book recently. The author is poet and educator Muriel Weinstein.


A jazz-dancing, bubble-gum blowing cutie in polka dot tights says, "The swingy music jumps inside my body, rolls riffs on my tongue, and tootles to my toes."

But when she falls asleep, the music doesn't stop. In her dreams, the little girl is visited by the master of scat, Louis Armstrong.

Satchmo and his protege riff on bubble gum, "oooba lee COOOO, oooba lee BAT, blow me a bubble in bubble gum SCAT."

And first-time children's author Weinstein riffs on the shape of the pink bubble, coming up with fabulous metaphors,

oooo-blee booo-blee jippitty joon
wobbly bubble's a lilac moon
butterfly's cocoon
baboon's nose
hippo's toes

When the dream-bubble bursts with a bang, our scat singer wakes up. Louis Armstrong is gone, but she takes her skills to the playground and double dutches in jazzy rhyme.

This is a great book for teaching wordplay.

Weinstein's second  book is due out soon. It's a chapter book bio of Louis Armstrong's early years, Play, Louis, Play.

Stop by later for an interview with Weinstein. We'll talk about her new book, how Armstrong became her muse, and what it's like to become a successful author late in life.

Happy Poetry Friday!  Today's host is The Miss Rumphius Effect. Enjoy :-)

12 comments:

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I'm really looking forward to this interview! There must be a long list by now of jazz/musician inspired books for kids, and another of artist-inspired books for kids. I wonder if anyone has put together a comprehensive list?

Thanks, Laura!

Author Amok said...

Me too, Heidi! I can't wait to hear more of Muriel's story -- what it's like to be a "late bloomer" to publishing, and how Louis Armstrong became her muse.

That would be an interesting list. I can think of a few jazz/poetry PBs I'd include.

jama said...

The excerpts have me jumpin' in my seat. Love that wordplay. Thanks for featuring this book. Muriel's interview should be fun, too :).

Carlie said...

What fascinating topics for an author interview. I will have to make sure to come by for that! She sounds wonderful!

Author Amok said...

Hi, Jama and Carlie. You'll love bouncing through the book. Her new chapter book bio of Armstrong is very good. My daughter (10) can't wait to read it.

Interview's coming...

Mary Lee said...

Boo Boppity Fun, Fun, Fun!

marthacalderaro said...

I remember dancing around the living room to Armstrong's "Hello Dolly" with my sisters when we were kids. Still love listening to his music. Looking forward to your interview!

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Martha. I'm hoping to hear back from Muriel soon.

laurasalas said...

I am totally not a jazz/scat fan, but this is a really cute picture book. So fun to read aloud!

Author Amok said...

Muriel makes it unintimidating, Laura. It's as much about wordplay as Jazz. Plus, there is pink bubble gum. Bubble gum is universal!

Toby Speed said...

This makes me think of the jazz chants by Carolyn Graham. Do you know her work? I once used her "Polka dot pajamas" in a performance poetry workshop.

Hmmm, I know Muriel, I met her either at a Long Island event or through my former (many years ago) critique group. The memory is going.... I look forward to your interview with her!

Kerry Aradhya said...

I just heard about this book, too, but haven't had the pleasure of reading it. It sounds like fun! Can't wait for your interview :)