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Start with a Book

Ricky Rocket

A summer reading initiative from Reading Rockets

Start With a Book

Great Fiction & Nonfiction Books

Age Level: 3-6 years old

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A Tisket, a Tasket

By: Ella Fitzgerald

Age Level: 3-6 years old

The song made famous by jazz great Ella Fitzgerald in the 1930s has been re-created, re-...

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

By: Carole Boston Weatherford

Age Level: 3-6 years old

John's music began when he listened to the music in his childhood. Semi-abstract...

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Charlie Parker Played Be Bop

By: Chris Raschka

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Inspired by jazz great Charlie Parker, rhythm and repetition are woven together to create a...

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Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills

By: Renee Watson

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Bold, bright illustrations and a cheerful text that includes song lyrics introduce the life of an...

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Hip Cat

By: Jonathan London

Age Level: 3-6 years old

A cool cat named Oobie-Do moves to San Francisco, plays his saxophone and works as a short order...

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Hip Hop Dog

By: Chris Raschka

Age Level: 3-6 years old

A mutt tells reveals a "doggy allegory" and how he went from "the saddest and the...

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I Got the Rhythm

By: Connie Scholfield-Morrison

Age Level: 3-6 years old

On a sunny day, a child and her mother go for a walk in the park. The rhythm the girl hears in...

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Music, Music for Everyone

By: Vera Williams

Age Level: 3-6 years old

When Rosa's grandmother becomes sick, Rosa comes up with an idea that not only makes...

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The Orchestra Pit

By: Johanna Wright

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Even though the green-spotted snake wanders into the wrong pit – an orchestra pit – he takes the...

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Tito Puente, Mambo King

By: Monica Brown

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Tito Puente was born to be a musician. He grew up to become the Mamba King to whose music people...

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Uptown

By: Bryan Collier

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Join a boy as he takes you uptown to introduce his Harlem home, filled with excitement, sounds,...

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When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson

By: Pam Muñoz Ryan

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Marian Anderson was an extraordinary contralto whose talent was celebrated in Europe long before...

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Age Level: 6-9 years old

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A Band of Angels

By: Deborah Hopkinson

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Ella Sheppard was one of the original Jubilee Singers from what is now known as Fisk University...

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Dizzy

By: Jonah Winter

Age Level: 6-9 years old

John Birks Gillespie was an angry child from an abusive home. He was able to overcome huge...

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Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite

By: Anna Harwell Celenza

Age Level: 6-9 years old

Duke Ellington's collaboration with a classically trained colleague resulting in unique...

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Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa

By: Andrea Pinkney

Age Level: 6-9 years old

From her early days in Harlem to becoming the First Lady of Jazz, the story of Ella Fitzgerald...

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For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart

By: Elizabeth Rusch, Steve Johnson

Age Level: 6-9 years old

The life of Wolfgang’s older sister, Maria Anna, follows the form of a piano sonata which...

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M Is for Music

By: Kathleen Krull

Age Level: 6-9 years old

The alphabet is used as a device to introduce the vocabulary for a range of musical styles as...

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My Name Is Celia/Me llamo Celia

By: Monica Brown

Age Level: 6-9 years old

The beautiful artwork of this award-winning picture book about salsa queen Celia Cruz practically...

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Odetta: The Queen of Folk

By: Stephen Alcorn

Age Level: 6-9 years old

The life and music of Odetta who became an influential folksinger and civil rights activist is...

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Simple Gifts

By: Chris Raschka

Age Level: 6-9 years old

A familiar traditional Shaker hymn has been interpreted in bold, semi-abstract, jewel-toned...

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Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald

By: Eileen L. Ordover

Age Level: 6-9 years old

From a poor girl who had "a dancing beat in her feet ever since she was a bitty girl"...

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Sweet Music in Harlem

By: Debbie Taylor

Age Level: 6-9 years old

CJ's uncle, a well known jazz musician, has lost his signature hat and sends the boy out to...

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The Carnival of the Animals

By: Jack Prelutsky

Age Level: 6-9 years old

New poems, many rhyming, describe the animals introduced in Saint-Saens' orchestral music that...

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Age Level: 9-12 years old

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Great American Mousical

By: Emma Walton Hamilton

Age Level: 9-12 years old

Theater mice perform in a space just out of human sight in a venerable old New York theater. Alas!...

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Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies

By: Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton

Age Level: 9-12 years old

A range of poetic styles, some rooted in the authors' family, are shared in this handsome, easily...

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