Jazz Age Josephine

by Jonah Winter

Other authorsMarjorie Priceman (Illustrator)
Paper Book, 2012




New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2012.


A tribute to the life of the iconic jazz entertainer depicts her disadvantaged youth in a segregated America, her unique performance talents, and the irrepressible sense of style that helped her overcome racial barriers.

Media reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's a rollicking tribute to a remarkable, trailblazing woman. Ages 4-8.

User reviews

LibraryThing member smdorr
A story about Josephine Baker that gives a background on her life growing up and how she turned into a star. I really like this book because it gives alot of historical context regarding race and the period that she grew up. She was persecuted in show business both as a woman and as an African-American and made her rise to fame possible when she moved away to France where they appreciated her talent!!!… (more)
LibraryThing member Sullywriter
Lively, colorful introduction to this fascinating entertainer.
LibraryThing member jjpionke
With a call and response style of prose and lush watercolor illustrations, you can't help but feel a bit of New Orleans Jazz seeping from the pages of this non-fiction picture book about Josephine Baker. Josephine was an African American who was caught up in the St. Louis riots as a child in 1917, moved to New York to be a part of show business, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to France, and became an international star on stage for her comedy and dance routines. The book tastefully tells the story of her early career. Because of the call and response Blues type of style, this will make a great storytime book. The narrative would also be good for including body movement like making silly faces, clapping hands, dancing, etc. There are some advanced concepts, like certain dance steps (the Charleston) but otherwise, the language is relatively accessible, especially to older readers in this age group. Highly recommended, especially for children who are interested in song and dance.… (more)
LibraryThing member klledet
Biographies can be boring to read, but not this one! The biography of Josephine Baker is all about her love for dancing and how she used it to become a success. Josephine danced from when she was young, poor and facing discrimination, all the way until she was old, fighting for equality. The author, Jonah Winter, centers the theme of the book around racism and color because during this time the 1920s were dominated by discrimination. Josephine Baker played a huge role in fighting for the equality of African Americans. Therefore, this book honors her contributions. However, these themes are more serious and can be touched on with children who are ready to discuss such topics. If they are not ready, this book is also just plain fun to read and dance along with, to0!… (more)
LibraryThing member JenJ.
I love Marjorie Priceman's illustrations - the swirling lines, the bright, bright colors. I just want to jump into her paintings. I really like this book, but I'm not sure it's going to find any kind of an audience here at our library which is a shame. The text is rhythmic and jazzy although I'd definitely want to run through it a time or two before attempting to read it to a group.… (more)
LibraryThing member jsylve
I was really drawn to this book because I know who Josephine Baker is. The banana dancer really struggled as a child but found happiness in dancing and jazz. This a great book for students to learn about this iconic women women broke segregation barriers and became a star.
LibraryThing member kitbraddick
LOVED this book. the scat and rhythm used to tell the story of Josephine Bakers life were brilliant and the pictures by Priceman were spot on. I read this to a group of second graders and they loved it. Jonah Winter did an amazing job chronicling the life of Miss Josephine.
LibraryThing member scote23
I really enjoy reading picture book biographies about people I don't know a lot about, because they give a quick overview of their life. Of course, sometimes I wonder how they are best used, but I'm sure there are lots of classrooms where picture book biographies are perfect. Anyway, I liked the art in the book, I think it captures the feel of the jazz age quite well, and I liked that it covered all of Baker's life with an author's note at the end.… (more)
LibraryThing member dukefan86
What an engaging book!! I'd heard of Josephine Baker, but didn't know/remember anything about her life, so this children's book helped with that! It turns out that Josephone Baker was brave and adventurous, as well as talented. Love the illustrations too--perfect for the story!


Physical description

29 cm



Local notes

young readers: picture books
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