Make a Pretty Sound: A Story of Ella Jenkins | Chronicle Books
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Make a Pretty Sound

A Story of Ella Jenkins—The First Lady of Children's Music
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Traci N. Todd ; Eleanor Davis
Once upon a time, children's music was just Mother Goose, nursery songs, and lullabies. And then came Ella Jenkins. Ella Jenkins is an American folk singer and living legend dubbed The First Lady of Children's Music. For nearly 70...
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Once upon a time, children's music was just Mother Goose, nursery songs, and lullabies. And then came Ella Jenkins.

Ella Jenkins is an American folk singer and living legend dubbed The First Lady of Children's Music. For nearly 70 years, she has been writing and performing music that has entertained and engaged generations of young listeners. In Make a Pretty Song, Ella's life and legacy are captured in vibrant sights, sounds, and stories that leap right off the page.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in Chicago, Ella grew up loving music of all kinds—the call-and-response of Cab Calloway, the exciting rhythms of Moroccan and Indian records spun in a local record shop, the bluesy notes her uncle teased from his harmonica. She listened to music from around the world, and no matter what language it was in, she could feel what it meant—the bridge in understanding and feeling that music offers from one heart to another.

When she began working with children, she knew just what to do. She knew music would offer children a kinetic learning experience that engaged them physically, verbally, and empathetically, creating community out of song. Soon, she was recording her own albums and became an international star.

In these beautifully illustrated pages, Ella's journey—from the gritty streets of Chicago to the classrooms where she found her calling to an opportunity to raise her voice for freedom alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., to the spotlight of the world's stage—is rhythmically, joyfully, brilliantly illuminated. For readers familiar with Ella Jenkins or new to her work, this nonfiction picture book offers a treasury of inspiration that touches on American history, civil rights, cultural awareness, and the incredible power of music. A LIVING LEGEND: Drawing on personal interviews the author conducted with Ella and her manager, this is Ella's story told in her own words. For all who have felt the impact of her work in children's programming, in classrooms, and in their homes, this is a wonderful opportunity to explore the legacy ofan artist who offers children the gift of music and the gift of knowing that another human heart reaches out to theirs.

LYRICAL TEXT AND ART: Rhythmic text and colorful illustrations celebrate the musicality of Ella's life and convey the singular joy that is found in the sharing of music!

BEAUTIFUL GIFT BOOK: With extraordinary writing and beautiful art, this book makes a perfect present for any young reader who loves music, biographies, or both. Perfect for:

  • Fans of Ella Jenkins
  • Parents, teachers, and caregivers of children who love music
  • Teachers and librarians looking for a great picture book biography
  • Anyone interested in multicultural music for kids
  • Readers who enjoy the Little People, BIG DREAMS and Who Is/Who Was biography series
  • Gift givers looking for a children's music book for birthday, holiday, or any celebratory occasion
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 52
Size: 9 X 12 V
Age Range: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: 01/07/2025
ISBN: 9781452170640

01/07/2025

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