Satchmo's Blues (Picture Yearling Book)

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9780440414728: Satchmo's Blues (Picture Yearling Book)

On hot summer nights in New Orleans, a boy named Louis Armstrong would peek under the big swinging doors of Economy Hall and listen to the jazz band. The best night was Friday, when Bunk Johnson would blow his cornet till the roof trembled. At moments like those, Louis could feel his toes tingle. He wanted to be like Bunk Johnson; aim his horn straight up at the night sky and set the stars spinning.

One day Louis saw a horn in a pawnshop window—a real brass cornet. The cardboard sign said $5. How could he ever come up with that much money? Every day Louis did what he could to earn that five dollars, and every day he practiced blowing his imaginary horn. It was a dream he would never give up.

The vibrant, swinging world of New Orleans jazz seems to bounce off the pages in this tribute to an extraordinary young man. Louis Armstrong's dynamic personality and amazing trumpet playing would cast a spell on millions of people around the world, to whom he will always be the one and only Satchmo, the Ambassador of Jazz.

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Review:

A storybook biography of Louis Armstrong's childhood, with wonderful illustrations by Floyd Cooper and an evocative and inspiring self-contained story by Alan Schroeder. Growing up in poverty in New Orleans, little Louis is obsessed by the haunting music of his neighborhood and dreams of making such sounds himself. After spying a battered horn in a pawnshop window he has to scavenge for all kinds of menial work to earn the elusively vast sum of $5 to buy it. But he does so, and the story ends with his euphoria as he starts to play real music. A brief author's note describes Satchmo's later international success.

From the Publisher:

One day, right off Bourbon Street, Louis saw a horn sitting in a pawnshopwindow. It was a humdinger, all bright and sassy, just begging to be bought.The cardboard sign said $5. Louis turned away. He could never come up withthat much money.

"It's not fair!" he thought. Everyone else had a musical instrument. EvenSantiago, the pie man, had a little horn hanging from his wooden cart. Peoplecame flocking when they heard his familiar toot-toot-ta-toot-toot.

The next time Santiago came "back o' town," Louis ran up and tugged on hissleeve.

"Can I blow that horn, mister?" he asked eagerly.

The pie man handed it to him with a grin. Louis whipped the horn up to hislips and blew.

Nothing happened. Just a flat, spitting sound. Ppphhhh...

Everybody laughed, especially Santiago. Louis tried again. This time,the noise was even worse.

Santiago reached down and took the horn away.

"I thought you said you could blow it, Louis."

Louis frowned. "I thought I could."

That made everyone laugh harder.

But Louis didn't give up. He wanted to turn that awful ppphhh intosomething wonderful--something so hot and jazzy everyone would come running.

"And I'm gonna do it, too," he said to himself.


Two weeks later, the horn was still in the pawnshop window. Louis wanted to goinside, but the man behind the counter didn't look any too friendly. Thecardboard sign still said $5.

"That horn is mine," Louis whispered, pressing his nose against the window."It's gotta be mine!"

Every afternoon, when he got home from school, Louis stood in front of themirror and practiced his blowing. He pretended he as Bunk Johnson, raisingthe roof with his high C's.

"What's that you doin' with your lips?" Mama asked. "You look like a fish."

"I'm blowin' my horn," Louis told her.

Mama shook her head. "I don't see any horn."

But Louis could--and it was a beauty.
Text copyright © 1996 by Alan Schroeder.

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Floyd Cooper (illustrator). Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. On hot summer nights in New Orleans, a boy named Louis Armstrong would peekunder the big swinging doors of Economy Hall and listen to the jazz band. Thebest night was Friday, when Bunk Johnson would blow his cornet till the rooftrembled. At moments like those, Louis could feel his toes tingle. He wanted tobe like Bunk Johnson; aim his horn straight up at the night sky and set thestars spinning.One day Louis saw a horn in a pawnshop window--a real brass cornet. Thecardboard sign said $5. How could he ever come up with that much money? Everyday Louis did what he could to earn that five dollars, and every day hepracticed blowing his imaginary horn. It was a dream he would never give up.The vibrant, swinging world of New Orleans jazz seems to bounce off the pagesin this tribute to an extraordinary young man. Louis Armstrong s dynamicpersonality and amazing trumpet playing would cast a spell on millions ofpeople around the world, to whom he will always be the one and only Satchmo, the Ambassador of Jazz. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780440414728

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