Alan Schroeder is the author of Satchmo’s Blues (paperback). It is a fictional account of an event in Louis Armstrong’s life. The picture book tells how the musician gets his first cornet.
Young Louis Armstrong lives in New Orleans, Louisiana with his mother and little sister, Beatrice. The family was poor, but little Louis has his love of music. New Orleans music is in the air everywhere. He wants to play the cornet like his idol, Bunk Johnson. Louis plays an imaginary cornet daily. One day, the future musician spies a cornet in a pawnshop. Five Dollars! Young Satchmo may be poor, but he is an enterprising lad. He does all sorts of jobs to earn the money.
Satchmo’s Blues is a fictional story of Louis Armstrong saving money for his first cornet. It tells children to work and sacrifice for the things they want. This is a very important life lesson.
The picture book introduces four-years-old children and older to one of the twentieth century’s greatest musician. In the book, Louis Armstrong is a kid like the reader. Children will identify with the young boy. They will understand his wants and will wish for his success.
Alan Schroeder on the last page writes of Louis Armstrong’s lifetime accomplishments. Children learn about his music and film career. He lists some of his compositions. The author tells of the many fans around the world.
Floyd Cooper’s illustrations for Satchmo’s Blues capture the hot, hazy New Orleans, Louisiana. He uses chalk to draw people and places. The pictures are slightly unfocused like an Impressionistic painting. Click on the Amazon.com icon and see the picture book cover art.
Parents and educators can use Satchmo’s Blues during Black History Month. Yet, I recommend the book for the lessons of working to get one's desires and sharing with others. Plus, children learn future success and fortune is not impeded by the economic station of your birth. Children need to learn and practice these things all twelve months of the year.
Also, play a Louis Armstrong CD. Allow children to experience his style of music. Discuss what they like and dislike about the music. Talking about the music strengthens their language skills. Remember the local library has an extensive collection of music. And best of all, they are free!
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Black History Month Books
When I was about 8, I decided that the most wonderful thing, next to a human being, was a book. - Margaret Walker
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