Monday, March 30, 2009

Review #21: Jazzmatazz!

Gracie (age 8):  This is "Jazzmatazz!"  It is by Stephanie Calmenson and illustrated by Bruce Degen.
Dad:  Bruce Degen is the guy that does the Magic School Bus books.
Isaac (age 10):  He does?!
Gracie:  This book is about jazz!
Isaac:  Super Jazz!
Gracie:  "Doo-dat, ditty-dat, Ditty-dat, doo!"
Dad:  You guys loved how they made shapes and colors represent different sounds in this book.
Gracie:  The illustrator really had to use his imagination.
Dad:  Do you remember that time when we listened to classical music, and we drew pictures of what the songs "looked" like, even though we were just listening with our ears?
Gracie:  No.
Dad:  That was a lot of years ago.  We'll have to do that again sometime.
Gracie:  Tomorrow.  Let's do that tomorrow.
Lily (age 6):  Let's do it today!
Dad:  So in the book, when the piano makes noise, what does the illustrator make the sounds "look" like?
Isaac:  Yellow puzzle-flower thingies.
Gracie:  Puzzle pieces.
Dad:  What does drum music look like?
Lily:  Fire!
Gracie:  Lightning!
Isaac:  Explosions!
Dad:  What does violin music look like?
Lily:  It looks like rainbows.
Gracie:  It must have been hard to think of all the ideas for how noises look.  It would be so fun to draw!  And hard.
Isaac:  Look - the bird's song looks like little comma thingies.
Gracie:  Like ninja tadpoles!
Isaac:  Evil boomerangs.
Gracie:  "Doo-dat, ditty-dat, Ditty-dat, doo!"
Lily:  Fish music is sweet!
Gracie:  It's the blub-blub sound...
Lily:  It is green waves in different shades with lots of bubbles!
Dad:  How about when the characters all make music together?
Kids:  Ahhhhhhghhhh!
Gracie:  The white space is getting all covered up with all the noises!
Isaac:  The house is exploding with sounds.  And everyone is coming over to see it.
Gracie:  Even an old lady with a goat.
Dad:  If you were in there, what sound would you make to join the jazz festival?
Lily:  Clack! Clack! Clack! Clack! Clack!
Dad:  Woah, Lily is doing a loud tongue-clicker noise.
Isaac:  Squirk... squirk... squirk... squirk...
Dad:  And you sound like a duck.
Gracie:  Haha hah ha haa!
Dad:  Isaac is making a squeaky duck sound from his cheeks.
Lily:  Grace, would you toot your armpits?
Gracie:  Ha ha ha ha!  YEAH!  Ha ha ha ha!!
Dad:  That's a pretty good sound for Gracie.
(A symphony of bodily noises ensues:  Pbbt... Pbbt... Pbbt...  Click... Click... Click...  Squirk... Squirk... Squirk...)
Dad:  Gracie, if you had to draw a picture of tooting armpit noises, what would it look like?  We know what they sound like, but what would they look like?
Isaac:  Little brown bubbles?
All:  HA ha ha hah ha ha!!
Gracie:  Little brown bubbles would be good for an armpit sound!  Little circles and waves... and colorful bubbles... and brown lines....
(Noises continue all through this conversation...  Squirk squirk sqruirk...  Click click click...)
Dad:  What would your squeaky-cheek duck sound look like, Isaac?
Isaac:  Little half-circle line things...  outlines of circles...  but if you split them in half...  they would be...  uhh...
Dad:  Ha ha... That's sounds very complicated.  I think you even confused yourself.
(Pbbt... Pbbt...  Click... Click...  Squirk... Squirk...)
Dad:  How about your sound, Lily?  What would tongue-clicks look like if we could see the sound?
Lily:  It would look like a whole bunch of colorful squiggly lines and then a whole bunch of stars.
Dad:  Ooo -- Stars would be good for clicks!
Lily:  My favorite picture from the book is when the patterns all joined together.  When the page is all covered with colors.
Isaac:  It's cool how he uses white space in the beginning of the book.  It makes all the colors and lines and bubbles from the music pop out more.
Gracie:  Then at the end, the white space gets completely covered -- except for the part where it's going Doo-dat, Ditty-dat, Doo!
Isaac:  It's like giant stained glass.  A whole bunch of stained glass.
Gracie:  It looks like a big rainbow of shapes!  All colors and sizes and shapes and beautiful things.
Lily:  They were crazy and drum-banging and cool!
Isaac:  It looks like all the colors exploded and found different places to go.
Dad:  We've mostly talked about the pictures.  Is there anything you want to say about the rhyme?
Isaac:  It's super cool, like "Doo-dat, ditty-dat..."
Gracie:  "Doo-dat, ditty-dat, Doodly-dat..."
Dad:  There are lots of sound-words like, "Plink, plink, plink" and "Blub, blub, blub."
Lily:  "Bang, bang, bang..."
Gracie:  And "Fiddle-dee-dee!"
Dad:  What did we learn about the rhyme?
Gracie:  There was End Rhyme.
Isaac:  And some other kind of rhyme, like Diddledash Rhyme.
Dad:  Diddledash Rhyme?!
Isaac:  Ha ha ha!  I can't remember what it's called!
Dad:  Internal Rhyme.  Do you remember the example?
(Gracie turns to the page)
Isaac:  The dad in this book has puffy hair.
Gracie: (Reading)  "While you're washing the dishes / He'll step on your feet / Then scurry in a hurry / To the piano seat."
Dad:  "Step on your feet... Piano seat."  That's end rhyme because both of the lines end with words that rhyme.  "Scurry in a hurry" is internal rhyme because those words are next to each other in the same line.  So this has both end rhyme and internal rhyme.
Isaac:  And the dad has puffy hair.
Gracie:  Ha ha ha - look at the big hair!
Dad:  So much for the poetry lesson...
Gracie:  I wonder if the illustrator has big poofy hair like the daddy in the book.
(Gracie keeps reading)
Gracie:  "Mouse points to Dog / With his bones and bowl / I play my drum with / My heart and soul."
Dad:  Now, the dog could have drummed with anything.  But Bones and Bowl both start with B, and that's fun to say.  That's called alliteration.  Rhyme is when the ends of words sound the same.  Alliteration is when the beginnings of words sound the same.  Can you make up an example?
Gracie:  With a Zip and a Zap I play my Xylophone...
Dad:  Good one!
Isaac:  Diddy Dat Doo?
Dad:  Yeah, you're right -- that whole refrain is alliteration.
Gracie:  "Doo-dat, ditty-dat, Ditty-dat, doo!"
Dad:  With a Plunt and a Plit, I Pump my hand in my Pit.
Kids:  Hah hah ha ha ha!
Isaac:  With little brown bubbles!
Dad:  Like toots from some toys, my armpit makes a noise...
Kids:  Ha ha ha ha ha...
Gracie:  Jazz is crazy, bumpy, loud - Woo!
Lily:  A clickin' from a chicken, and a chicken is a-tickin'!
All:  Hah hah ha ha!
Gracie:  The chicken is a-clickin' and he went to the dickens!  Ha ha ha ha ha!
Isaac:  An elephant made a smellaphant!
Dad: ...Diddy-dat, Doo!

guitar and tuba music, by Lily

drum and flute music, by Isaac

do dat didee dat, by Gracie

Author: Stephanie Calmenson
Illustrator: Bruce Degen
Published, 2008: HarperCollins
Like it? Find it


Carrie said...

I think I do'nt want to read this one until I have several children with me. ;) You all make it sound very fun!

balqees said...

I've been an avid fan of this blog ever since I first read of it over on!

It's such a wonderful idea and I love love love the kids' fan art :D

I'm a mom of a precocious 16 month old boy and am looking forward to having a baby girl this August. I can't WAIT for the day when I can share similar activities with my own family!

You're doing so much more than reviewing books and displaying your art (which is awesome in itself)... You're also setting a GREAT and INSPIRING example of how a family can get together and do fun things that are both creative as well as educational.

Kids: You are SO talented! I wonder what each of you wants to be when you're older :D I wish you all success!!

Dad: You're super! Your kids are lucky to have you :D and you them, of course!

Mom: A shout out to you too! It can't be easy taking care of a whole bunch of creative types with all their projects and things!


Your fan from Kuwait,

Balqis (*^-^*)

balqees said...

P.S. Isaac's illustration this week looks soooo professional! Dad, can we learn a little bit about how those geometric shapes were done? Is it collage?

Z-Kids said...

Hello Balqis,

This is how I made the picture. First I drew the flute and the drum with colored pencils.

Then I got a book with a whole bunch of paper with design patterns. For the flute sounds I cut out a giant squiggly line, and then I made a smaller one with different paper and then an even smaller one with another different paper, and I glued them all down. For the drum sounds, I cut out a whole bunch of circles all with different patters and glued those down too. I just picked some of my favorite patterns for the collage.

Thanks for asking and for your nice comment!

- Isaac

caribookscoops said...

Wow, wow, wow and another wow! This book sounds and looks so fun. I really enjoyed your pictures. I am going to check it out very soon. I bet my daughter would love this book and doing some art with it.

Aaron, I am impressed how you got a little lesson in there about alliteration. Way to go!

ElizT said...

Amazing [-zing] as usual!

Joan Holub said...

I love your art, Z-Kids! A wonderful blog. Thanks for drawing my attention to this book I hadn't seen before.

Aaron, I also wanted to let you know we're featuring your book Hiccupotamus as the April Older Sibling Pick at
The cover will be up all month, and I'll post a blog on April 16th about your fabulous picture book!

Z-Kids said...

Thanks Joan! I love Readertotz, and it's such an honor to have Hiccupotamus featured there! Thanks so much!


corey schwartz said...

Great art, Z-kids.

Janet said...

Wonderful pictures! Wow!

Great review, too. Are you familiar with the 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' dvd? It has a piece at the end called 'I See a Song' that "pictures" music. After reading this post, I want to go get the dvd now.