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When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat
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When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  118 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
In a CRACKITY-SNAPPITY-POPPITY-POP bubblegum dream, a young girl learns to scat from the master himself, Louis Armstrong! Written in prose and scat with wild and wonderful illustrations by R. Gregory Christie, this joyful tribute is downright contagious. CHEW-ITEE CHEW-ITEE CHEW-ITEE CHOP, CRACKITY SNAPPITY POPPITY POP!
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 24th 2008 by Chronicle Books (first published September 1st 2008)
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The Magic of Finkleton by K.C. HiltonThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George SpeareJohnny Tremain by Esther ForbesCaddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie BrinkAnne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Best Historical Fiction for Children
109th out of 207 books — 127 voters
Journey to Jazzland by Gia Volterra De SaulnierElla Fitzgerald by Andrea Davis PinkneyBen's Trumpet by Rachel IsadoraCharlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris RaschkaDuke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Picture Books of JAZZ!
29th out of 37 books — 9 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Becky
Feb 11, 2009 Becky rated it it was amazing
Quick summary of this one...a girl listens (along with her mother) to Louis Armstrong on the radio and becomes interested in scat. That night in bed, she imagines having a private scat lesson (or should that be session?) with Satchmo himself. This scat session is all about bubble gum in all its gooey wonder.

This leads to some wonderfully rhythmic poetry (I'm only going to quote a bit of it. It goes on much longer than this.):

Rippety wrapper
Glittery new
Pinkety sweet
Stickety chew
Squash-itee
Stretch
...more
Victoria Moore
Sep 30, 2014 Victoria Moore rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
From the cover of Muriel Harris Weinstein's children's book "When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat" to the back of the book with the information about Louis Armstrong and Scat were I felt like I was going back in time and tapping jazz for the first time. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie the cool art work is a perfect accompaniment to the atomic age text. Infectious and colorful this book is as joyful as it is educational.
Meghan
May 19, 2009 Meghan rated it it was amazing
A terrific picture book introducing kids to Louis Armstrong and scat. I especially like that the book isn't an attempt to hit readers over the head with music history or Armstrong's biography, rather a fun way to introduce scat by way of a thoroughly charming narrator. I loved the vibrant illustrations - funky with a slight retro feel.
Dolly
Aug 01, 2016 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fascinating story about musical inspiration and the king of scat. It was nominated to be one of the March 2011 Music-themed reads for the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads. It didn't win, but we decided to read it anyway and I'm so glad.

The story was fairly short, but explains the fun and rhythmic beat of jazz and scat and it helps to introduce a new generation to this music genre. Our girls really liked the nonsensical words and we had fun reading this
...more
J-Lynn
A little girl dances with her mom to Louis Armstrong's music and gets a lesson in scat. The book is full of the nonsense words of scat and would be fun to chant/sing with kids. But, for the book to have a powerful impact, it should probably be read in conjunction with listening to Armstrong's scat or else I'm not sure the students will understand the concept just from the book. The back of the book has an information page about Louis Armstrong and a definition of scat.

The illustrations are done
...more
Kaethe
Jul 16, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it
The KitKat is interested in music, as well as China, Native Americans, and critters. She thinks the title should be "when Louis Armstrong Taught Me Bubble Gum Scat". I think the title is fine.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
I think this book would be much more effective as an audiobook.
Terri
Dec 28, 2012 Terri rated it it was amazing
"When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat" by Murial Harris Weinstein is a joyous tribute to Louis Armstrong and the art of scat. Who can resist lines like, "Before long the hands of the clock point to bedtime. Slipping under my blanket, scat words flash through my brain in neon, jump like Bo Peep's sheep, and I follow them to sleep. A horn is blowing, throwing long shadows on my walls. I love its wah-wah-wah-ing sound"? The language is rhythmic and literally dances across the page. What a fantastic ...more
Brandi Smith
Apr 15, 2012 Brandi Smith rated it really liked it
This historical fiction picturebook is intended for children ages birth to 8 years(N-P). After a night of singing and dancing to a Louis Armstrong recording with her mother, a little girl falls in love with scat and dreams of scatting with the legend.
I gave this book 4 stars. I enjoyed reading the rhythm and rhyme. This is one groovy book. The text reads like spoken word poetry. And while there was no music playing, I couldn't help bobbing my head a little as I read. Children in the targeted age
...more
Tara
Nov 30, 2010 Tara rated it really liked it
I liked this book because it was short and sweet. By just reading the story you may not get much out of it other than Louis Armstrong is related to the Scat and the trumpet, but in the back there is a short biography. The biography is easy to understand and briefly tells you abot hte significance of Louis Armstrong, which to me, added to the credibility of the book because I could use it as a resource for my students and myself, and I did. I liked the pictures and my students liked it because it ...more
Beth
Apr 06, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it
I agree with Alyson of Kid Lit Frenzy that this book would be much more engaging if it had an audiobook to go with it. The book This Jazz Man is similar in feel and the added interaction of the audiobook sends it into the stratosphere of making the book that much more enjoyable.

This is definitely one of those books that if you're reading to kids needs supplementary material of actually allowing them to listen to Louis Armstrong scat.
Lana Clifton
The words in this text sing and dance off the page-- showing the reader how words can silently sing. Words fulfill every page in varying sizes, fonts, directions, and colors. There are words that you will never find in a dictionary, but perfectly make sense. I like to imitate the deep rhythm of Louis's voice when reading aloud. This is a great book to compliment a child's musical awareness, inspired by one of the best jazz musician's America has ever known.
Melanie
A young girl is entranced as her mother begins to dance and scat to Jazz legend Louis Armstrong. She learns that scat is a form of nonsense talking in music. In her dreams Louis teaches her how to scat about her favorite thing: bubble gum. She takes her knowledge of scat to school the next day and teaches it to her friends.

A great introduction to scat. The pictures are alive with scat sequences running through them.
Dayna
Aug 10, 2009 Dayna rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite recent library loans. This book is wonderful all the way through. The snap and pop of the words and the illustrations makes this a great read.

After finishing the book my daughter and I surfed YouTube for videos of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sara Vaughn. We tried our own hand at scatting all weekend long.

We will be looking to add a copy of this to our personal library.
Cara Byrne
Oct 07, 2015 Cara Byrne rated it liked it
When Momma introduces her "Sugar" to Louis Armstrong, what begins as a lesson in learning how to scat becomes an introduction to Louis himself who appears in the little girl's dream. It's a clever story, and Christie's illustrations of Armstrong are perfect. This would be a fun read for a group of 5 or 6 six year olds, especially as the musical quality of Weinstein's prose lends itself marvelously to being read aloud.
Nancy (NE)
Aug 04, 2012 Nancy (NE) rated it liked it
I am personally not overly fond of children's books about jazz that have a rhyming text. I wish there were more about the genre that had real informational content. On the other hand - how else are you going to give a kid the real feel of scat singing without experiencing the nonsense syllables and the innate beat to the poetry? My students do love this as I have them repeat after me - inflection and all.
JustOneMoreBook.com
Dec 04, 2008 JustOneMoreBook.com rated it it was amazing
Blithe bobbling, babbling and blowing of bubbles in cheery sherbet pinks and lime get our lips slipping and our tongues tripping and leave us finger-snapping, toe-tapping and scatting every time.

You can listen in on our chat about this book on our Just One More Book! Children's Book Podcast.
Kristy Mcghee
Another great book to teach about a famous person of the 1920's. This is a 5th grade standard and Louis Armstrong is one of the people studied. This book is also in that it tells of a child who Louis Armstrong visited during her dreams and taught her the scat. I used this during PTLS as well and the kid created their own song or scat. It went really well!
Natalie
Learned something new. Louis had a smile so wide, his friends said it was as big as an open satchel. Hence, Satchmo.

Really liked the art, although the figures got a little Egon Schiele at times, which doesn't actually make me think of children's books.

I have to admit, I looked at this way more than I read it.
Kimberly Caldwell
Sep 17, 2011 Kimberly Caldwell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 544-books
Picture book/Biography - 2008 A young girl imagines Louis Armstrong comes to scat with her. The playful use of figurative language and rhymes is engaging and at times humerous. At the end of this book, there is a selection about Louis Armstrong's life. The illustrations add to the enjoyment of the text.
Erin
Feb 04, 2009 Erin rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This is a fun book that kids will love playing along with. Not really a bio of Armstrong, but it does have a brief bio and history of scat in the back. The art is lively and retro looking - bright 60's colors. The idea of the story is great and listeners will want to try scat themselves.
Jeanette Johnson
Jun 20, 2011 Jeanette Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Fun story about Louis Armstrong and how to turn any object or idea into Scat. The rhythm of the words and illustrations really go well together. It would be fun to read out loud. I think it would crack kids up. then you could get them to try to make up something in scat as well.....
Rima Aroutiounian
May 29, 2014 Rima Aroutiounian added it
Shelves: 1
By reading the book you already start making up music, it is so fun. Fun colors and print for visual development. Great for print motivation and awareness. The age group I would say would be kindergartners.
Molly
Feb 27, 2009 Molly rated it liked it
I don't know what it is about me but I love picture books about jazz hero's. Louis is one of my favorites. The reason I did not score this higher is I am not sure about the translation of this book to children. Grades 1+
Sam Bloom
Mar 03, 2009 Sam Bloom rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A mom and little girl dance to an old Louis Armstrong record, where the little girl is introduced to Louis's scat singing; she then has a dream where Louis makes up scat lyrics about bubble gum. Cute story, great illustrations, and any book with Louis as the star is fine by me.
Eshaneh
Apr 08, 2014 Eshaneh rated it it was amazing
This children's book is one of our new faves. My two-year old loves the silly scat rhymes, and he has made up some of his own even!
Kristen
This one I'll use simply for the love of language. With the bubblegum scat and craazyman art it's superfun to read out loud.
Kionni Williams
May 20, 2013 Kionni Williams rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kionni
i think this book is funny though am i righ people onlytalk about cats on moutins and roads but is that alot to say am i right again
April Scheivelhud
I enjoyed the fun illustrations in this book. There are a lot of "scat" words (or fun made up words)I especially enjoyed the scat about bubble gum :)
Patricia
Aug 17, 2010 Patricia rated it it was ok
Apparently I don't have a jazzy scat voice. It wasn't the easiest of reads, but it was a nice book.
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MURIEL HARRIS WEINSTEIN's poems have appeared in The Comstock Review, Nassau Review, Kent State Review, Nexus, and many anthologies. She lives in New York.
More about Muriel Harris Weinstein...

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