|King of ragtime : the story of Scott Joplin|
Author: Costanza, Stephen
A rhythmic picture book biography of African American composer Scott Joplin, whose ragtime music paved the way for jazz.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/15/21)
Booklist (+) (06/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2021 *Starred Review* Scott Joplin is widely recognized as the king of ragtime music, and this nuanced picture-book biography does justice to his considerable talent and irresistible compositions. The melodic, flowing text goes beyond Joplin’s personal details to paint a picture of what life looked like for African Americans during the Jim Crow era at the turn of the twentieth century, after emancipation and the failure of Reconstruction. Examples are effortlessly woven into the narrative. Joplin’s father, Giles, had been formerly enslaved and used to play fiddle up at the big house; when Scott left his home in Texarkana, he rode back in the very last railroad car, and when he got to the Chicago World’s Fair, Black musicians weren’t allowed to perform on the fairgrounds. There are also plenty of scenes highlighting the joys of singing and playing music, celebrating Juneteenth, and Joplin’s compositions spreading across the country. These events come alive through gloriously vibrant, full-page gouache collages that pop off of pages and are filled with creative and expressive details. Back matter includes a bibliography and list of “Recommended Listening,” featuring recordings of Joplin’s music. In addition to multiple curriculum applications, this attractive offering makes a great read-aloud. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.