Stompin’ at the Savoy: How Chick Webb Became the King of Drums

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This short, picture book tells the story of William Henry’s life as a black American jazz drummer. William “Chick” Henry didn’t let a disability that stunted his growth get in the way of his musical aspirations. When he was a young child, Chick would pound rhythms on stairs, pots, and pans. It was his love for percussion that drove him to become an influential bandleader.

I learned a lot about someone I knew nothing about, but this book read more like an adult biography than a child’s picture book. I felt it was over-packed with facts and lacked an enjoyable, relatable story for kids. I like having an afterword that fills in details, but the author (and the illustrator) tried to do too many things in the actual story for it to be effective as its own story. I have read a lot of picture book biographies and this one failed to make me want to know more about the historical person.

It is hard to think of a reader that might like this book, but I think the author’s target audience was probably younger children.

Reviewed By:

Author Moira Rose Donohue
Star Count 3/5
Format Hardcover Picture Book
Page Count 32 pages
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Publish Date 2021-Jan-15
ISBN 9781534110977
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2021
Category Children's


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