Publisher: Flying Turtle Publishing LLC
Publication date: 7/1/2013
Journey to Jazzland is a story about a group of instruments in an orchestra. One of the characters, Windy Flute, discovers that she likes to deviate from what has been written on her sheet music. She enjoys the sounds that she creates on her own. She decides to go in search of a mythical place called ‘Jazzland’ so that she can continue to create her own melodies.
Some of her fellow orchestra instruments join her on her journey, and along the way she finds other instruments that want to be part of her group. A few of the new band mates include a piano named Ebony (who has a toothy grin), a guitar named Sly, and a bass named Boomer, among others. As they grow in numbers, so does the fullness of their sound.
Soon they discover that they need to cross a ‘bridge’ in order to get to Jazzland, and they are a little nervous; the bridge is only as strong as the melody that they create. When they play together, each creating their own melody, the bridge becomes stronger.
I think children will enjoy this book because of the vibrant colors of the illustrations and the creative descriptions of the instruments. Children will learn a little about music, the importance of working together as a team, as well as finding out it is okay to be different. As an added bonus, paper doll cutouts of each character are included in the back of the book so that children can make their own little jazz band to play with!
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.
One day during an orchestra rehearsal, Windy Flute was playing a piece of music and her mind started to wander. Over and over, she had practiced the piece and played the piece. Feeling bored, she felt that she wanted to be a little different.
Then something special happened. She began to hear notes that weren’t on the page of sheet music on her stand!
When she started playing what she heard, Windy realized these new notes made her feel better. The harmonies and the melodies were the same, but the music moved differently. Before she could figure things out, she was interrupted by a stern voice.
“Excuse me, Ms. Flute, do you mind playing with the rest of us? Where do you think you are — Jazzland?” said Mr. Conductor, scowling down at her.
After the rehearsal, Mr. Conductor gave Windy a severe look and stomped off the stage.
Windy turned to her friends in the woodwind section. “What’s Jazzland?” she asked. She was still thinking about the good feelings she got from playing different notes.
“It’s a myth,” said Mr. Bassoon.
“That’s right,” said Mr. Oboe, “It’s a legend. It doesn’t really exist.”
“I think it exists,” said Spitz Trumpet.
“Really, you do? What is it?” Windy was so excited; she almost knocked over her music stand.
“I think Jazzland is a place where instruments in a group have the freedom to play their own music.” Spitz said with a big smile.
“That sounds great!” Windy said to Spitz. “I wonder how I can get there!”
About the Author
Gia Volterra de Saulnier was born and raised in Fairhaven, Massachusetts and attended University of Lowell (now University of Massachusetts, Lowell). It was there that she learned to love jazz. Gia’s been performing jazz and other kinds of music for over 20 years, throughout the New England area. She lives in North Reading, Massachusetts with her husband and son.
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