Rachel Isadora’s book is everything a book about music should be. It has soulful pictures that echo the words which evoke the music inherent in the prose. I have heard the recorded version of Ben’s Trumpet and it is very good, however, the book is just as good without a soundtrack because the pictures and words play it for us.
Ben’s love for the trumpet permeates the reader, even as others ridicule and ignore his imaginative playing. The horn player at the jazz club recognizes Ben’s musical desires and tutors him, ending the story with good dreams for Ben’s future.
Teach 1920s jazz history , art deco style and music appreciation with this book. Play some jazz and see if the kids can pick out the horn, the saxophone, the trombone, the drums, the piano. Identify the instruments in a music video. Talk about dreams and aspirations. What do you love to do? What lengths would you go to realize that dream?