For kids, scatting is a natural creative outlet–made-up words with a bouncy rhythm? Sure! Two books provide children a great entry into this surprisingly sophisticated jazz form:
When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat ($11.50) is moving, grooving story about a little girl who dances to jazz with her mother before going to bed with her mother. At night, Louis Armstrong appears in her dream and helps her compose a bubble gum scat. The hip illustrations, reminiscent of 1950s graphic art, are as playful and effervescent as the rhyming text. Kids will appreciate the silliness. Parents will like the multicultural world and the empowering message of creating your own tune to share with the whole neighborhood. Bonus: Check out this interview with the Author & Illustrator. Ages 4-8.
Ella Elephant Scats Like That ($8) from the Baby Loves Jazz series is perfect for younger kids. Toddlers and preschoolers will have fun making the different scat sounds for each instrument. My daughter especially enjoys banging the drums with Philly Joe Giraffe–A BOOM BOOM BAP! Each animal musician in the book is named after a famous Jazz player: Charlie Bird, Mingus Mouse, and Duck Ellington. Each Baby Loves Jazz book even comes with a CD of accompanying music. A bright and fun introduction for your littlest jazz enthusiast. Ages 2+