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Daddy Played the Blues

Hardcover

Michael Garland (Author, Illustrated by)

Our Retail Price:£12.99

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Description

Packing themselves into an old jalopy—with Daddy, Uncle Vern, and Mama in the front seat and Cassie and her two brothers in the back—they joined the Great Migration from the impoverished Deep South to Chicago, where there was work to be had in the stockyards. Across the kids’ laps lay Daddy’s prized possession, a six-string guitar. Daddy worked hard to put food on the table, but what he really loved was playing the blues. This evocative tale of the African-American odyssey in search of a better life is also a homage to the uniquely American music that developed from African music and American spirituals, work songs, and folk ballads.

In the book’s backmatter, Garland relates how he first heard and fell in love with blues music, beginning a lifelong fandom. Portraits and thumbnail biographies of great blues musicians and landmark songs complete this tribute to the great American music and the yearnings that produced it.

Fountas & Pinnell Level S

Reviews

Cassie's family moves from Mississippi to Chicago so that her father and uncle can work in the stockyards, but what they love to do most is sit and play the blues.  The textured digital woodcut illustrations excellently convey the emotions of the story, while a lengthy author's note offers more information about the Great Migration and the Chicago blues scene. 

Ideal for sharing one-on-one or as a supplement to U.S. history lessons.

” — School Library Journal

“Six-year-old Cassie squeezes into the backseat of her family’s old jalopy, holding Daddy’s precious guitar across her lap. The year is 1936, and the family is bound for a better life in Chica­go, where Daddy will work six days a week in the stockyards and fill his time off singing the blues. This fictional but histori­cally correct story is set during the Great Migration, a period when thousands of African Americans left the southern states in search of a better life away from share cropping and Jim Crow laws. It is a tribute to the rich tradition of the blues, particularly the Chicago Blues style. The story is interjected with blues lyr­ics, which are accompanied by illustrated interpretations of the songs. Garland uses a method called digital woodblock to cre­ate vibrant, luminescent pictures that resemble scratchboard technique, which fill each page. The energy and motion in the illustrations support the musical spirit described in the text. Cassie’s story is told in first-person narrative, which helps make the content accessible for young readers, as does the large, sim­ple text. An eight-page, fully illustrated author’s note adds con­text for the story and provides information about blues history and the popularization of the genre. Back matter includes song credits, a map depicting the Great Migration, and short bios and portraits for 11 pioneers of the Chicago blues style. The story would make an excellent read-aloud for younger students, while the endnotes will appeal to upper elementary students. ” — Sarah Jo Zaharako, Head Royce School, BayViews: The Association of Children's Librarians of Northern California

“Packing themselves into an old jalopy along side Daddy, Uncle Vern, and Mama in the front seat and Cassie and her two brothers in the back, the family joined the Great Migration from the impoverished Deep South to Chicago, where there was work to be had in the stockyards. Across the kids' laps lay Daddy's prized possession, a six-string guitar. Daddy worked hard to put food on the table, but what he really loved was playing the blues. Deftly written and superbly illustrated by Michael Garland, "Daddy Played the Blues" is an evocative picture book tale of the African-American odyssey in search of a better life is also a homage to the uniquely American music that developed from African music and American spirituals, work songs, and folk ballads. Of special note is Garland own personal story of how he first heard and fell in love with blues music, beginning a lifelong fandom. Featuring portraits and thumbnail biographies of great blues musicians and landmark songs complete this tribute to the great American music and the yearnings that produced it, "Daddy Played the Blues" will prove to be an original and entertaining read for children ages 6 to 10, making it unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections for young readers. ” — The Midwest Book Review

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