Junior Library Guild Selection
Booklist Editors' Top 10 Arts Books for Youth
California Reading Assoc. Eureka! Gold Award
CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young Readers
Parents' Choice Gold Award
Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers
Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year
Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Illustration
A picture book biography of famous composer George Gershwin and a look at his famous composition Rhapsody In Blue.
George Gershwin heard music all the time—at home, at school, even on New York City's busy streets. Classical, ragtime, blues, and jazz—George's head was filled with a whole lot of razzmatazz! With rhythmic swirls of words and pictures, author Suzanne Slade and illustrator Stacy Innerst beautifully reveal just how brilliantly Gershwin combined various kinds of music to create his masterpiece, Rhapsody in Blue, a surprising and whirlwind composition of notes, sounds, and one long wail of a clarinet. Includes author's note, timeline, and bibliography.
★ "One of American music's masterpieces, 'Rhapsody in Blue,' is introduced here along with its composer, George Gershwin.... Slade and Innerst... work beautifully together to create a book that builds to a crescendo just as 'Rhapsody' does. The swirling text wraps around the inventive (and mostly blue) art, both literally and figuratively, capturing the time period as well as the dazzling musical piece.... This is fitting celebration of a musical milestone—keep a copy of the song cued up for curious listeners." —Booklist, starred review
★ "Slade teams up with Innerst for this pleasant picture book biography of composer George Gershwin... Innerst's acrylic spreads are almost entirely done in blue and gray tones, with broad brushstrokes, scanned textiles, and paper adding texture; each scene is striking. Slade's narrative is highly readable and lightly peppered with musical onomatopoeia.... A detailed author's note, time line, and bibliography add further depth to this well-researched work. Readers will get a glimpse into Gershwin's mind and find the music within. Highly recommended." —School Library Journal, starred review
★ "Slade illuminates George Gershwin's creative process, from inception to premiere of "Rhapsody in Blue."... Innerst's acrylic-on-paper compositions, in a striking palette of indigo, sepia, and white, whimsically evoke both the period and the composer's creativity.... Bravo!" —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "Through evocative storytelling, expressive hand-lettered text, and dynamic paintings, Slade (The Inventor's Secret) and Innerst (Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation) explore the making of Gershwin's acclaimed 'Rhapsody in Blue'... fittingly, Innerst uses swathes of indigo blue paint in images that seem to sway with the music George heard around him. Even the typography gets in on the action, changing colors, switching to cursive, or blaring words in capital letters to reflect the musical influences Gershwin drew on. An afterword and timeline round out a rousing look at one of the defining contributions to the Great American Songbook." —Publishers Weekly, starred review