Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge by Gary Golio, illustrated by James Ransome

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books

Amazon.com: Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge: 9781984813664: Golio, Gary,  Ransome, James: Books
Amazon.com: Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge: 9781984813664: Golio, Gary,  Ransome, James: Books

Summary:  When Sonny Rollins needs a place to practice his music that won’t disturb the neighbors, he heads for the bridge.  Climbing the steps to the walkway, he finds a place where he can blow his saxophone as loud as he wants.  Subway cars, tugboats, and seagulls add their distinctive voices to the song Sonny plays from New York City’s Williamsburg Bridge.  Includes additional information about Sonny Rollins and the Williamsburg Bridge, as well as a collection of quotes from interviews with Sonny, now 91 years old. 32 pages; grades 1-5.

Pros:  This would be a great resource for music teachers to introduce Sonny Rollins’s music.  The brief poetic text makes a quick but compelling read-aloud, there’s lots more information at the end, and the illustrations gorgeously capture the feeling of music on the bridge.

Cons:  There’s not much biographical information in the main story; the back matter provides more, but more research will be needed for a full picture of Sonny Rollins’s life and career.

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