Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra (Book & Cassette)

Composer: 
Duke Ellington, John Goodman
Artist Group: 
Ready by Forest Whitaker
Publisher: 
Weston Woods
Publisher Catalog Number: 
HRA393
Length in minutes: 
18
ISBN: 
1555920578
Large image: 
List Price: 
24.95
Rating: 
5
Awards: 
alanotablechildren'srecording
Publication Date: 
2000

Age Range:

Short Review: 
This Caldecott Honor winner introduces children to the “King of the Keys,” that “Piano Prince,” Duke Ellington. With Forest Whitaker’s smooth, cool reading of the swinging words, Duke Ellington’s music in the background to listen to, and the jazzy, swirling rainbow-colored illustrations to look at, this book and tape set is an exquisite multi-sensory experience.
Long Review: 

This Caldecott Honor winner introduces children to the “King of the Keys,” that “Piano Prince,” Duke Ellington. Though Duke Ellington learned to play piano as a boy (forced into lessons by his mother and father), it wasn’t until he heard ragtime that he fell in love with making music on the piano. Later, playing the swank Cotton Club in Harlem, and heard all over the country by radio, Duke and his Orchestra became world famous. His name and his sound have since become synonymous with jazz’s swing era. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s swinging, sassy words and Brian Pinkney’s jazzy, rainbow-colored scratchboard illustrations capture the rhythm and energy of Duke’s music. This dazzling book is augmented by Forest Whitaker’s superb reading against a backdrop of Duke Ellington’s music on the accompanying audiocassette. Though there is energy and movement in the Pinkney’s telling of the Duke’s musical career, Whitaker takes his time, his smooth voice conveying a cool, hep-cat feel. The original recordings of Duke and his orchestra interwoven with original music by Joel Goodman take the listener back to the glorious Jazz Age. So as not to miss Brian Pinkney’s stunning illustrations, children can read along as they listen, to either side one with page-turning prompts, or uninterrupted on side two. Look for this gem at your local library or bookstore, or you can order it directly from Weston Woods by calling 1-800-243-5020.

Reviewer: 
Lauren Mayer