Biographies are hard to get right in picture book form. Too often the writing is dry, recounting the facts about a person's life. Not so here! Raschka writes from the premise that musician Sun Ra was 100% correct when he claimed to be from Saturn. After all, writes Raschka, "it would explain so much." What follows is a fascinating tale even if you don't know the first thing about Sun Ra or his music. Raschka picks interesting details instead of following a straight biographical line of key events, and the book is stronger for it. A great place to start learning about Sun Ra, African-American musicians, or just to enjoy.
If you only read one children's picture book about a deceased jazz icon this year make it this one. A loving tribute to Sun Ra to mark the 100th anniversary of his arrival from Saturn.
Raschka has written a number of books about jazz for very young kids and this is another winner -- this time about the keyboardist and band leader so far ahead of his time that, all his life, he insisted he was from the planet Saturn!
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