REVIEW: Stompin’ at the Savoy

Stompin’ at the Savoy
Author: Moira Rose Donahue
Illustrator: Laura Freeman
Sleeping Bear Press
Ages 4-8

Laura Freeman’s art really makes the book swing.

Stompin’ at the Savoy gives an abbreviated biography of the big-time, but short-in-stature jazz drummer and bandleader Chick Webb, focusing on a real-life battle of the bands between Chick and Benny Goodman.

“To young William Henry “Chick” Webb, all the world was a drum. He tapped rhythms on iron railings. Tinkety-tink! He slapped rhythms on marble steps. Thwapety-thwap! He banged rhythms on garbage cans. Boomedy-boom! And years later, on May 11, 1937, he hammered them on his sparkly drum set at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom in the biggest band battle of the century.”

This is a well-written book with onomatopoeia that makes it fun to read aloud, but Laura Freeman’s art really makes it swing. (See what I did there?) Her elegant illustrations emphasize the music on every page. With a sweet and encouraging moral at its heart, Stompin’ at the Savoy will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of any teacher trying to add more diversity to their classroom literature, as well as a great read-aloud for jazz and swing units in music class.

Stompin’ (Support an Independent Bookstore)
Stompin (Amazon)*

More books for this Age Group can be found here.

My thanks to Sleeping Bear Press for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.

Please, leave comments! I love a HEALTHY exchange of ideas. After all, critical thinking is essential to life.

Leave a Reply