It’s time for another book round up! Jazz has always been one the genres I focus on the most, and if anything, I am guilty of focusing ONLY on jazz and related genres. These are three books that I think are some of the best around and focus on a diverse group of musicians. (Full disclosure: some affiliate links but it won’t change your price. No pressure!)

1. This Jazz Man

Author: Karen Ehrhardt, Illustrator: R.G.Roth 
ISBN: 978-0544339224
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This fun and colorful counting book with lovely illustrations. Fun poetry accompanies each musician. Even better, it features nine wonderful jazz musicians and there is a small biography of each one in the back. The musicians listed are:

This is an awesome book because it really introduces several musicians and you can separate the musicians into smaller lessons if you desire to create a unit. I’ve provided a listening link for each of the musicians to help you find some places to start.

2. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

Author: Katheryn Russell-Brown, Illustrator: Frank Morrison
ISBN: 978-1600608988
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There aren’t enough books on women in jazz so I always try to get the ones I can find. This book is a kid favorite featuring a little girl on a big instrument with the help of a supportive family.
I think it’s also important to note that the book even addresses difficulties such as bullies, segregation and sexism in a way that kids can handle. The book has a bibliography and extended bio in the back so you can expand to give your students a great lesson.

3. Django World’s Greatest Jazz Guitarist

Author: Bonnie Christensen
ISBN: 978-1596434226
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This is about Jean “Django” Reinhardt, a Romani-French jazz guitarist born in Belgium, he is considered one of the greatest European jazz musicians. He lost the use of two fingers in a caravan fire in 1928. I think Django is important to include in any narrative for kids because of the lost of some of his mobility. He shows that it doesn’t matter, you can still make beautiful music. Please note that the term g*psy is derogatory.

I hope this has been helpful and you love these books as much as I do! If you are looking for more books, make sure you check out There are a lot more books about jazz linked there!

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