|Mama Mable's all-gal big band jazz extravaganza!|
Author: Sieg, Annie
Mama Mable's racially integrated, all-female band travels the country during World War II, bringing joy and healing to the home front. Includes author's note.
Kirkus Reviews (-) (08/15/19)
School Library Journal (10/01/19)
Booklist (+) (10/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/01/2019 *Starred Review* Graceful, melodious rhyme and energetic mixed-media art marry into a riotous, joyful experience from debut author-illustrator Sieg, introducing readers to the power and importance of women’s contributions to swing and jazz music, especially during the 1940s. While men were away fighting in WWII, women filled their everyday roles. Inspired by these stories, Sieg represents some of the iconic female musicians of the time (Viola Smith, Willie Mae Wong, Lil Hardin) in this tale about the fictional Mama Mable. The fluid lines, kaleidoscopic colors, and stylized characters will pull children in through the lens of an unnamed girl bearing witness to the harmonious cacophony. The vintage clothing and hairdos ground the work in its historical period. Cool prints add a layer of texture to the backgrounds and characters. The art feels timeless, fresh, and full of verve, and best of all, the feminist, women-powered message shines through on every page. With onomatopoeic sounds of instruments, this homage to the little-known heroines of jazz sings, making a perfect choice for music-themed story times. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2019 PreS-Gr 4—While the men in the United States were away at war in the 1940s, all-female bands formed to entertain the women who were left behind working both in and out of the home. Sieg fictionalizes this part of history with the creation of Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza. The band is a composite of many real musicians of the time period, cited by the author as Viola Smith, Lil Hardin, Valaida Snow, Willie Mae Wong, Dot Sauter, and Melba Liston, with Mama Mable being a nod to musicians such as Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, Nina Simone, and Ella Fitzgerald. The story is narrated by a collective "we" ("we welded, sawed, and sewed"), setting up the time period and then taking a trip to Mama Mable's show, where the music is described in lyrical detail, ending with a spread about the healing power of music. Illustrations are full color and vivid. Text is sparse, averaging three to four lines per page spread. VERDICT This title would be a welcome introduction to a music unit on jazz with follow-up on specific musicians, or an addition to a lesson about life in the United States during World War II. Recommended for collections with a strong music and history focus.—Kate Olson, Bangor School District, WI - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.