Vivid illustrations and adult-friendly music for kids make the Baby Loves Jazz series a winner. Each book guides baby through an aspect of her world using the lens of Jazz. The funky drawings and engaging recordings are consistent throughout the series.
I was able to review Ella Elephant Scats Like That: Baby Loves Jazz and Charlie Bird Count to the Beat: Baby Loves Jazz. Ella Elephant focuses on the sounds that emanate from each instrument in the band, accented and reinforced by “Ella’s” vivacious and talented scat–a vocal technique in which “instead of real words, we make up our own.” With Charlie Bird, parents and baby can practice counting with a twist. Each number is represented by the animal members of the band: “Four funky fish play fiddles.”
Baby Diva enjoyed the hep, lush pictures and the bouncy jazz beats and I appreciated a children’s recording that addresses a sophisticated and complex art form with a sense of fun. A toddler learning to count might appreciate Charlie Bird more, but we still had fun with the “six silly seals [that] play spoons” and all of Charlie’s friends.
Overall, I think the books and the CDs work very well separately but could be better integrated. Perhaps a short track to correspond with each page, followed by more lengthy selections at the end for extended listening.
Also, at Baby Diva’s age, I would have liked a book that had a little more rhyming text for reading. After looking at the other titles, I’m planning on buying Miles the Crocodile Plays the Colors of Jazz: Baby Loves Jazz. Each page of Miles elaborates on the musical “colors” of the Jazz, as well as familiar objects in each hue, with a lively verse.
For those who would like a more extensive story, your choice should be Philly Joe Giraffe’s Jungle Jazz: Baby Loves Jazz–a fun tale of Philly Joe traveling from his city home to join the jungle band.
Each sturdy board book comes complete with entertaining text, exuberant drawings, a playful jazz CD, and a handy carrying handle.
More titles from Baby Loves Jazz:
- Louis Lion Sings Good Night: Baby Loves Jazz
- Duck Ellington Swings Through the Zoo: Baby Loves Jazz
- Nursery Rhyme Jazz (Baby Loves Jazz)
- On the Road (Baby Loves Jazz)