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Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  74 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
It s 1924, and with just a few weeks notice, George Gershwin has been asked to compose a new concerto that exemplifies American music. In his search for a new melody, Gershwin realizes that American music is much like its people: a great melting pot of sounds, rhythms, and harmonies. JoAnn Kitchel s illustrations capture the 1920 s in all their art-deco majesty. Includes a ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Charlesbridge (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Allison Anderson Armstrong
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cute book, well-told interesting story with great illustrations. (I know it's a kids book but if I set my goal at 75 you gotta cut me some slack;)
Garrett Zecker
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five weeks. Five weeks of genius created the explosion of sound and movement in one of the most recognizable jazz standards in American history. Celenza’s book arrived as part of my son’s young readers book club, and it was an absolute pleasure to read. Fun, quaint illustrations accompany the approachable and humorous text that tells the story of Gershwin’s explosion of creativity that resulted from being roped into writing a last minute symphony. The resulting Rhapsody in Blue is a startlingly ...more
One day in early 1924 George Gershwin's brother Ira was reading the New York Daily when he brought to George's attention that the newspaper said he would be performing a new concerto in a few weeks. The problem was, this was news to George! He had no idea that the public expected him to perform a brand new piano concerto, especially considering he hadn't even started writing one, let alone had one ready to perform in a few weeks. But thanks to the encouragement of his brother and friends, he too ...more
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fun. Twenty-one watercolors illustrate this book, which tells kids of all ages how “Rhapsody in Blue” came to be.

But more than just story and paintings, the book includes a CD of Gershwin playing the concerto in 1925. Although the recording is almost a hundred years old, this was remastered into a very clean and bright thirteen-minute experience. Gershwin composed the work in a month at twenty-six years old. Strap on your headphones and put this work in your head.

Gershwin weekend here. The wee
Jacqui Pollard
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a lover of music and just one class shy of having received a minor in music in my undergrad, I knew I had to read this book once I discovered it sitting on the shelf at my local library. To make it even more authentic, I even pulled up Rhapsody in Blue in my iTunes to listen to while I read about its creation. I'm not sure that someone who is unfamiliar with this piece would appreciate it as much, but I LOVED this book and enjoyed reading about how Rhapsody in Blue came to be. The book comes ...more
Paul  Hankins
This 2006 title is a good example of a non-fiction picture book that stretches the genre out a little bit. A good reason not to write-off this approach is that this one comes with a nice story about the creation of a piece of highly-recognizable music written by an American musician that is all true. . .a wonderful account that comes with the CD to listen to the piece of music being celebrated. The text is peppered with chronological events, locations, dialogue and the creative process. Give thi ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Saw this laying about when I was visiting my mom at work today. She works in an elementary school library so I get to read a lot of children's books.

Rhapsody in Blue is my all time favorite classical music composition ever! It is just so lively and beautiful that I could listen to it all day. This was a great little story to educate young readers on the history of the piece's composition (taught me a few things too.).
Aug 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This gets the coveted 5 stars from me and my son, Joseph. It is a joy to listen to the concerto playing in the background as we read the story of it's conception. The illustrations are really well done as my nearly 3 year old understands the emotion of the text before he hears it by seeing the pictures.

Imagine what could have happened with American music if George Gershwin had lived beyond his 39 years?
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This was an interesting peak into the history of one of the 1920's most famous pieces of music. Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (which I confess I first heard in conjunction with the United Airline's commercials...hey, child of the 80s what can I say!) is the featured piece and this book even includes a recording. While this is a picture book best suited for older readers I found it quite interesting. The illustrations are well suited to the text and really evoke the spirit of the time.
Jun 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book will whet your appetite for an experiment in modern music! If only my words could capture the excitement this story builds for the music! It's a bit long for my 5 year old, but well worth it. Again, so thankful to have stumbled on these books with beautiful illustrations and information about composers and music we may have missed!
Feb 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
I love almost all of the Gershwin brothers' music, so I was intrigued by this book. It was fascinating to read about the way Rhapsody in Blue came to be. However, I can't imagine that you could enjoy this book without being very familiar with the music of Rhapsody in Blue. Luckily, the book comes with a CD. If you plan to read this to children, let them hear the CD first.
Natalie Moreland
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
ages 9-12
James Govednik
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
Entertaining account of how George Gershwin wrote his classic work.
Sep 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Amazing that he wrote it in only a few weeks! Could never get Lola to read it with me, but I enjoyed it.
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Terrific lead in for a biography project or unit.
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
found this gem at our local library which brings the story of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue to little readers. My 5 year old loved the story, the illustrations and listening to the included cd.
Michael Fitzgerald
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
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