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Study Guide (PDF)


Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrator: Brian Pinkney

Grades: K - 4
Lexile®: 520L

Guided Reading Level: P

Release Date: 2003

Themes: Biography, Black History, Music, Singers
Told in the voice of a cool cat named Scat, this dramatic story tells how Ella got her sound on the way to a most remarkable and inspiring career. Innovative animation and jazzy narration will resonate with audiences long after the music stops. Narrated by Billy Dee Williams.

AudioFile: “Musically minded kids (and their parents) will want to hear... Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of A Vocal Virtuosa, narrated by Billy Dee Williams and featuring archival recordings of the virtuoso herself.”

Curriculum Connections, School Library Journal: “Billy Dee Williams does a superb job as narrator/storyteller Scat Cat Monroe. His smooth, playful voice nearly sings the rhythms of Andrea Pinkney’s jazzy text, and lends a wonderfully hip personality to the creature.”

Children’s Bookwatch: “A great story to share with young people about the joy of music and reaching for one’s dreams….”

Booklist: “…features snippets of Ella Fitzgerald singing ‘A Tisket, a-Tasket’ and ‘Sing Me a Swing Song,’ with some original background music offering flavorful atmosphere.”

AudioFile: “The hip narration of Scat Cat (Andrea Pinkney), the captivating illustrations of Brian Pinkney, and the music that bears her name bring Ella vividly to life for young listeners.”

Catholic Library World: “…interesting and cleverly told…. The snatches of songs in Ella’s own voice enhance recognition of her unusual style… very interesting and entertaining.”

ALA Notable Videos Committee: “Billy Dee Williams’ narration and music by Joel Goodman and Dan Rosengard with original recordings by Ella Fitzgerald provide an outstanding soundtrack for this animated tale of how Ella found her voice.”

ALA Notable Recordings Committee: “Carefully selected vintage recordings, sound tracks, and Billy Dee Williams’s sensuous voice are layered artfully to produce a time-slip to the 1930s. Prepare to be transported by the pulse and rhythms of Harlem and of Ella Fitzgerald, the Queen of Scat!”

Flora Joy, Storytelling World Resource Awards Director: “CONGRATULATIONS again on producing a resource of such superior quality.”

Book Awards: ALA Notable Book
Film Awards: ALA Notable Video; CINE Golden Eagle; Bronze Plaque, Columbus International Film/Video Festival; CINE Golden Eagle
Audio Awards: AudioFile Earphones Award; ALA Notable Recording; Storytelling World Award; Audie Awards Finalist; Black Issues Book Review Best of the Best Audiobooks for Kids

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Hardcover Book/CD

Item #: WHCD615
ISBN: 978-1-55592-498-0

17:50 $29.95
Paperback Book/CD

Item #: WPCD615
ISBN: 978-0-545-02761-8

18:00 $18.95
5 Paperbacks/1CD Package

Item #: WPKG615CD
ISBN: 978-0-545-02763-2

18:00 $38.75
Audio CD

Item #: WCD615RA
ISBN: 978-1-55592-888-9

17:50 $12.95
Read-Along highlights each word as it is narrated.
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