Jazz Age Josephine

Winter, Jonah, 1962-

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Jazz Age Josephine
A tribute to the life of the iconic jazz entertainer depicts her disadvantaged youth in a segregated America, her unique performance talents, and the irrepressible sense of style that helped her overcome racial barriers.

Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers ; c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781416961239
Branch Call Number: J PIC W
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Additional Contributors: Priceman, Marjorie Illustrator


From Library Staff

Young Josephine Baker “grew up singing nothin’ but the blues” and went onstage to become the toast of Paris and the world. A jazzy “fairy tale” with vibrant, high-steppin’, high energy art.

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Feb 02, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The picture book format is necessarily limited so you won't find any mention here of Josephine's exciting work spying during WWII or really anything after the 20s. That's fine. The point of a picture book bio is, to a certain extent, to give kids a glimpse of history through a memorable person. With "Jazz Age Josephine" they learn about a kind of racism they might not encounter elsewhere and a person who was truly one-of-a-kind. Bouncy, rhythmic, funny, and fresh, if kids are assigned a biography of an African-American in school, forget handing them something rote and stodgy. Hand `em this. I guarantee that its equivalent is mighty hard to find.


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Feb 02, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over


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Feb 02, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"Well, she was born up in St. Louis, and she grew up with those St. Louis Blues / Yes, she was born in old St. Louis, and she grew up singin' nothin' but the blues, / She just had one old ragged dress and a pair of worn-out old shoes." That was Josephine Baker back in the day. Fortunately, the kid had pep. She could move and goof off and her dancing was so good that it earned her some money from time to time. Little wonder that when her home was burned by angry racists she headed straight for New York City. There Josephine was able to get some roles on the stage, but the minstrel parts were particularly galling. So off she flew to Paris and once she got there, "Paris, France - instant fame! / Everybody knows her name!" And though she missed her home, she was a jazz age baby and a hit at long last.


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Feb 02, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"So she jumped on a boat
that was headed for France.
She was gonna show those French folks
how Americans dance.

It was the Jazz Age now,
year of 1925:
jumpin' jazz bands, sassy haircuts-
yes, the good times had arrived!"


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Winter, Jonah, 1962-
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