Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph

By: Roxane Orgill

Illustrator: Francis Vallejo

Harlem, 1958: Art Kane wasn’t sure if any jazz artists would show up to his photo shoot, but “little by little / fifty-seven musicians / form[ed] an upside-down T / underlined / by twelve boys / just happen to be sitting on the curb.” Introduction. Author’s note. Biographies. The reach of Harlem 1958 beyond Esquire magazine. Source notes. Bibliography. Full-color illustrations done in acrylic and pastel.

ISBN: 9780763669546

JLG Release: Apr 2016


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: Jazz musicians , Photography , Poetry , Harlem 1958 , Art Kane (1925-1995) , New York City , Harlem , Neighborhoods , Esquire magazine

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Awards & Honors

Parents’ Choice Awards, Nonfiction Gold, Spring 2016
The Kirkus Prize 2016 Nominee, Young Readers
ALA Notable Books for Children Nominee–Summer 2016, Poetry
SLJ’s Best Books of 2016, Nonfiction
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2016, Middle-Grade
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2016, Picture Books
New York Public Library 2016 Best Books for Kids, Poetry
National Public Radio’s Guide to 2016 Great Reads
Booklist Top 10 Books for Youth 2016, Arts
NCTE Notable Poetry List 2017
ALSC Notable Children’s Books 2017, All Ages
NEA’s Read Across America Educator Recomended Books 2016–2017, Grades 3–5
CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2017, K–2
BCCB 2016 Blue Ribbons, Nonfiction
The Nonfiction Detectives, 2016 Best Nonfiction Books for Children
2017 Capitol Choices, Seven to Ten
CSMCL Best Multicultural Books of 2016
The Washington Post Best Children’s and Young Adult Books of 2016
ILA Teachers’ Choices 2017 Reading List
Children’s Literature Assembly, 2017 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts Award

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, Book List*, The Horn Book Magazine*, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
A collection of poetry that focuses on the day graphic designer Art Kane orchestrated the iconic 1958 photograph of American jazz greats on a stoop in Harlem. Though many may recognize the photograph, fewer will know the story of its creation. While working on a special issue of Esquire magazine dedicated to jazz, Kane d
[STARRED REVIEW]
A collection of poetry that focuses on the day graphic designer Art Kane orchestrated the iconic 1958 photograph of American jazz greats on a stoop in Harlem. Though many may recognize the photograph, fewer will know the story of its creation. While working on a special issue of Esquire magazine dedicated to jazz, Kane decided to see how many musicians he could gather in one place. The book starts on the morning the photograph was taken, with Kane standing in the street he’s closed for the occasion, nervously hoping his call for appearances will be heeded. The verse spotlights the cast of characters that slowly materializes, with some short biographic poems and even one about Count Basie’s hat. The offerings lead up to a foldout spread of the photograph itself, cued by a black page with the word click in white print. The remaining selections address the issue’s immediate reception and laud Kane’s accomplishment. The text is accompanied by vibrant, spectacular acrylic and pastel paintings by debut illustrator Vallejo. The volume includes an introduction, a lengthy author’s note (with a useful key to the photograph), and short biographies of the major players. VERDICT A rich, unique, playful, and masterfully orchestrated work; Kane himself would undoubtedly be proud.—Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
On August 12, 1958, fifty-plus jazz musicians, famous and emerging, gathered together in front of a brownstone in Harlem for a group photo shoot. The resulting photograph has become iconic, a single image that captures a generation of stories. Orgill uses this photo as the springboard for a series of twenty-one poems, an
[STARRED REVIEW]
On August 12, 1958, fifty-plus jazz musicians, famous and emerging, gathered together in front of a brownstone in Harlem for a group photo shoot. The resulting photograph has become iconic, a single image that captures a generation of stories. Orgill uses this photo as the springboard for a series of twenty-one poems, and Vallejo for a set of personality-rich illustrations. Some focus on individuals (Thelonius Monk, late as usual); some on the event itself (photographer Art Kane trying to herd them all into formation). Two feature musicians who didn’t make it into the picture: pianist Willie Smith, who got tired of standing, and Duke Ellington, who was out of town. The poems vary in form and mood from an alphabetical acrostic of clothing to a pantoum in the voice of the young and awestruck drummer Eddie Locke. The rhythms are contagious. Saxophonist Lester Young’s porkpie hat: “Roll the crown halfway down all around— / that’s called ‘busting it down.’ / Turn it over and poke out the pit just a bit, / ‘bringing the lid back home.’” The words take you back to the photo—reproduced here as a gatefold spread, and placed in the perfect dramatic spot—and the excellent list of sources leads you back to the music. An inspiring example of art that arises from the simple question, “What did you notice in the picture?” Appended with an extensive author’s note, biographies of the participants, source notes, and a bibliography. sarah ellis

Book Details

ISBN

9780763669546

First Release

April 2016

Genre

Nonfic / Poetry

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

7 7/8" x 11"

Page Count

64

Accelerated Reader

Level 6.1; Points: 1;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level NP

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Candlewick

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

Jazz musicians, Photography, Poetry, Harlem 1958, Art Kane (1925-1995), New York City, Harlem, Neighborhoods, Esquire magazine,

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