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Birth of the Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound
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Birth of the Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Miles can’t sleep.
Taps his toes,
snaps his fingers,
can’t stop thinking of ways
to make music his own.

As a young musician, Miles Davis heard music everywhere. This biography explores the childhood and early career of a jazz legend as he finds his voice and shapes a new musical sound. Follow his progression from East St. Louis to rural Arkansas, from Julliard and NYC jazz clu
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Page Street Kids
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4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  52 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Kim Tomsic
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Hopeful and lovely picture book biography on jazz-great Miles Davis.
Kim Chaffee
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the rhythm and flow of Kathleen Cornell Berman’s text in this picture book biography about the legendary Miles Davis. Readers are treated to Keith Henry Brown’s soothing watercolors and lines which bleed over the gutter of the page to create spectacular images, as we explore Davis’ childhood, young life, and finding his sound.

Cathy Breisacher
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Birth of the Cool is a story of one of the all-time great jazz musicians, Miles Davis, told in a vibrant, poetic format. I loved learning how Miles found his way, how he heard and felt the music in his soul, and found ways to bring that music to the world. This is a fantastic biography told in a very engaging way. You will feel the rhythm of the words as you learn about this jazz legend.
Sandra Sutter
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here is a one-of-a-kind picture book about legendary musician Miles Davis. Slow it down to enjoy the words and take in the cool illustrations. And don't forget to turn to the end to read a note from Wynton Marsalis!
Stephanie Ward
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit, newin19
Birth of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound is a fascinating non-fiction picture book about the early years of Miles Davis. For music buffs and kids with musical aspirations, Birth of Cool brings alive the hardship and high points of a jazz great.

Through atmospheric illustrations and melodious writing, this book is thoroughly absorbing. Detailing the not-so-easy path of young music lover to serious student to innovative musician, this is a great book for showing young readers how m
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Birth of the Cool is an extremely inviting way to draw a reader, young or not so young, into the world of jazz great, Miles Davis. Author Kathleen Cornell Berman hits all the notes with easy, jazzy, lyrical text. Illustrator Keith Henry Brown's fine, fluid illustrations in a beautiful color palette, bring this story of perseverance and dedication of a genius finding his place in the jazz world. A beautiful read-aloud; will make you want to turn on the music and listen for yourself.
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I admit to not knowing a whole lot about Miles Davis but this book gave me a wonderful intro into the music legend’s life. Kathy Cornell Berman’s mesmerizing free form poetry echo the cool, mellow notes of Davis’s music, and Keith Henry Brown’s illustrations are the perfect, harmonic accompaniment. I think playing some of Davis’s music in the background while reading this book would be ideal setting for story-time at home, school, library or bookstores!
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful introduction to Miles Davis, complete with lyrical storytelling and lovely illustrations. Kids who love music will love learning about one of the musical greats, and the book provides a great jumping off point for discussions about music, overcoming adversity, and finding one's own voice.
Tracy Holland
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
So much to learn about Miles Davis through this picture book. From small child finding his passion through his trumpet, through his struggle to make it with the big jazz musicians because he played differently than all of the rest. The author highlights the highs and lows of Miles Davis and his role as a struggling musician.
David Stanich
Jun 22, 2019 rated it liked it
If you are a fan of Jazz, Trumpet or listening to Miles Davis, you will enjoy this book. It goes into Miles Davis history and talks about how he developed as a trumpet player and his ventures in different styles of music. It has some great Notes from the various people who helped develop the book and a personal note from Wynton Marsalis.
Elizabeth Brown
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a beautifully written, lyrical picture book biography of Miles Davis. I can almost hear the music playing as I read the text. The illustrations go well with the text, complementing it in an engaging style. I loved learning more about this important jazz musician, and I recommend this book for any teachers, music teachers, and librarians for young children.
Sheri Dillard
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've just had the most lovely morning... I read Birth of the Cool and then spent the next hour listening to Miles Davis's music. Beautiful. Kathleen Cornell Berman and Keith Henry Brown are a talented team and bring his story to life. Highly recommend!
Gina Beaumont
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you love music, you'll love this book about the life of jazz legend, Miles Davis, written by Kathleen Cornell Berman and illustrated by Keith Henry Brown. The combination of the author's lyrical text and the illustrator's exquisite drawings makes this book a win-win!
Jo Oehrlein
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, picture-books
Good advice on not trying to be "like" someone else -- just be yourself.

Interesting to see he quit Juilliard to play clubs.
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The beautiful, evocative language made me feel like I was discovering Miles Davis’s sound along with him. An informative and inspirational book. Highly recommend.
Meh. The information was very good, just a bit deep and abstract for a picture book. And the pictures? Didn't like them.
Edward Sullivan
An inviting and evocative look at the childhood and early career of the jazz legend.
Introduces the life and music of jazz legend Miles Davis.
Aliza Werner
Rhythmic and melodic text to echo the great Miles Davis. A thoughtful and engaging narrative of Miles’ musical journey.
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