Before John Was A Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane

Hardcover | April 1, 2008

byCarole Boston WeatherfordIllustratorSean Qualls

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Young John Coltrane was all ears. And there was a lot to hear growing up in the South in the 1930s: preachers praying, music on the radio, the bustling of the household. These vivid noises shaped John's own sound as a musician. Carole Boston Weatherford and Sean Qualls have composed an amazingly rich hymn to the childhood of jazz legend John Coltrane.

Before John Was a Jazz Giant is a 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book and a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Young John Coltrane was all ears. And there was a lot to hear growing up in the South in the 1930s: preachers praying, music on the radio, the bustling of the household. These vivid noises shaped John's own sound as a musician. Carole Boston Weatherford and Sean Qualls have composed an amazingly rich hymn to the childhood of jazz lege...

CAROLE BOSTON WEATHERFORD wrote the Caldecott Honor book Moses: When Harriet Tubman Lead Her People to Freedom. She lives in North Carolina. SEAN QUALLS illustrated the widely acclaimed biographies The Poet Slave of Cuba and Dizzy. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:32 pages, 10.18 × 8.47 × 0.34 inPublished:April 1, 2008Publisher:Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0805079947

ISBN - 13:9780805079944

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Extra Content

Bookclub Guide

Before John was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John ColtraneClassroom ActivitiesBefore John was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane demonstrates how the sounds John Coltrane heard as a child influenced his musical compositions, playing, and style. Here are some activities that introduce young children to the basics of listening to and playing with the sounds around them. The first three topics introduce the three basic components of music: dynamics (loud and soft), rhythm, and melody. The following activities help children to think about everyday objects in a different way - in a musical way.

Editorial Reviews

"Weatherford's evocative poem traces Coltrane's influences simply and stunningly. Qualls's muted palette of rich hues suggests the smoky jazz moods he would create." -School Library Journal"Even children who are unfamiliar with jazz in general and John Coltrane in particular may find their interest piqued." -Horn Book"Will echo with contemporary children, who will recognize the music in their daily lives." -Booklist"This is as much a subtle invitation for children to listen to their own worlds as it is a Coltrane biography." -Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books