I recently read the book Swing Café by Carl Norac • illustrations by Rebecca Dautremer • narration by Bebel Gilberto and David Francis which was mentioned on The Picnic Basket. This is the review that I gave the book (I am not being paid to give this review):
I would give this book 4 out of 5. This book was rich in culture and music but it really needed the CD to make it a good read. First I read the story and noticed how wonderful the illustrations popped off the pages. I had trouble blending the story easily when I was reading it but when I listened to the CD, it all blended easily together.
I loved the narrator’s accent on the CD which made the story come alive. The story was also enhanced by the music that accompanied the story. I think this story could be used in a classroom to introduce culture, geography, new vocabulary (lots of wonderful rich vocabulary throughout the story), music, friendship, dance, travel, and social skills. I think this would be a nice book for young children to read and listen to but I also think it would work for older elementary grades too because of the richness of culture and music throughout the story. Even as an adult, I enjoyed the story and music so I think middle school and high school would benefit just from listening to the CD along with the book.
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).