Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

Spring 2016 Non-Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Roxane Orgill
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763669546
Hardcover Price: $18.99

The day in 1958 that the iconic Esquire Magazine photo was taken of 57 jazz musicians, posed together on the stoop of a Harlem brownstone, is re-created in an evocative match-up of Roxane Orgill's poetry and Francis Vallejo's acrylic and pastel illustrations. Readers see the day from all manner of perspectives: the photographer, Art Kane; some of the individual musicians, and the gaggle of young neighborhood boys who sat on the curb and ended up in the picture, too. The subject of one memorable poem/picture is a spectator, a little girl in a window overlooking the street ("Leaning/on elbows/Twirling/a twist/of curly hair"), wishing the commotion would end so she could play stickball. Orgill rounds out the book with information about how the photo came to be, how she chose her inspirations, biographies of some of the musicians, a page devoted to "Harlem 1958: Beyond Esquire," a fold-out of the original black-and-white photo, and a substantial bibliography with lists of books, websites and more.

Lynne Heffley   ©2016 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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