ChiIL Mama was absolutely delighted to read and listen to Swing Cafe, another excellent title in The Secret Mountain's award winning series of children's books. The accompanying CD is packed with classic recordings by legendary performers like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller and other Jazz greats who are interwoven throughout the narration of the story. The CD is a lengthy 60 minutes, so families get their money's worth on this one. It's a perfect road trip disc.
Enter at the bottom of this review for your own chance to win SWING CAFE in ChiIL Mama's Win A Disc Wednesdays drawing. This brand new release just came out this month, so be one of the first to check it out.
Although it's listed as recommended for ages 5-7, the story line is complex enough to be compelling to older readers as well. We all enjoyed the tale of Esperanza Carmina Belleza, AKA: Zaz. In fact, we were so busy loving the fabulous illustrations, clever type faces, and interesting story, that we hardly noticed how much historical information we were learning. This storybook & music CD set is an asset to any collection and an absolute must for swing and jazz fans.
Here's a quick synopsis and the low down on the author, illustrator and narrators off of The Secret Mountain site.
A little Brazilian cricket named Zaz dreams of singing in New York. After hopping a ride on a woman’s fruit hat that takes her from her homeland to Manhattan, she meets a savvy fly named Buster who brings her to the Swing Café on East 54th Street. Everyone there speaks a common language, called Swing, and Zaz is inspired to take to the stage, sing from the heart, and deliver the performance of a lifetime.
Publication date: September 2010
Carl Norac is an award-winning author who has written more than 40 children’s books, including I Love You So Much, which was a Publisher’s Weekly bestseller.
Rebecca Dautremer is the illustrator of The Secret Lives of Princesses and more than thirty other children's books.
Bebel Gilberto is an established artist on the world music scene who has recorded with David Byrne, Caetano Veloso, and Laurie Anderson. Her debut album Tanto Tempo climbed the world music charts with more than 1 million copies sold worldwide and became the third-best-selling Brazilian album ever in North America. She lives in New York City.
David Francis trained as an actor at LAMDA in England and later at Shakespeare and Company in Massachussetts. He lived and worked in the UK for 20 years with several theatre companies in London, Exeter, Canterbury and Sheffield. He recently completed his eighth season at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada. He lives in Montreal.
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