Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Jazz Day 7.13.16

Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog is to give educational professionals
new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph
written by Roxane Orgill
illustrated by Francis Vallejo
published by Candlewick Press

I am so in awe of this book.  Written about one small event - the taking of a photograph of jazz artists.  This event almost didn't take place.  Art Kane, a graphic designer who was just discovering his true passion of photography, put out a crazy idea - gather as many jazz musicians as possible in one location for a photograph for Esquire magazine.

More people than Kane ever thought showed up.  And what happens when you get people with a common interest together?  Lots of talking, laughing, and not really listening to what needs to be done! Orgill captures the feeling of the day perfectly through different poems.  I think readers will be fascinated by the musicians and the time period.

What stands out about this book:

* many small moments about the day were collected by the author and put together in poetry format.  Each poem talks about a different moment - whether it's about one of the musicians or the other people that were captured in the photograph, or something that happened off camera

* this would be a great mentor text to show how to capture a small moment in one bit of writing

* use this as a mentor text to show how to capture the feeling of an event.  I really liked how Orgill used different poetry forms throughout the text.  Each form recognized the feeling that was trying to be expressed

* the illustrations are amazing.  I felt they really captured the energy from the day and the feeling of camaraderie between the musicians.

* the back matter is fantastic.  Includes an author's note, biographies of the people mentioned in the poems, information about how the single photograph lived on in different media, source notes and an extensive bibliography.

* I think this book has a place on Mock Caldecott and Mock Sibert lists


  1. I just put this on hold at the library because it was picked as a Mock Caldecott book for this month!

  2. Yay I love when people discover this book! I just read it recently and love it!

  3. What a brilliant idea--a deep dive into a single moment. And the writing is really lovely, too.

  4. Thank you for your Book Nook and the comments. I especially liked the bit about "small moments." That's indeed what I focussed on, and am drawn to. Jazz Day was a joy to write.