Winter, Jonah Jazz Age Josephine Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. Atheneum Books, 2012. PICTURE BOOK Content: PG.
Josephine is a little girl born in St. Louis, Missouri. She lives in poor conditions in the run-down black side of town. She likes to dance and entertain people, but when a group of white people burn her family’s neighborhood, she decides to run away to a safer place. She goes to New York and becomes a part of a chorus line and entertains many people, but when the manager of the show wants her to put paint on a black face, she feels as though she is disgracing her race. She decides to go to Paris, France to perform during the Jazz Age and becomes a big hit and is very successful. She does miss her home in the United States and is sad that she can’t find the freedom there that she finds in France. This has funky illustrations that are colorful and show movement to illustrate her dancing. The text is repetitive rhyme and sometimes has lines like “Zee-buh-dop” to express rhythm. It’s an interesting synopsis but the reader would have to be interested in the subject to keep reading once they started.
EL (4-6)-OPTIONAL. Reviewer, C. Peterson.