{"id":1564394684495,"title":"Sonny's Bridge","handle":"sonnys-bridge","description":"\u003cb\u003e\u003cspan size=\"4\" style=\"font-size: large;\"\u003eSonny's Bridge\u003c\/span\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\u003cspan size=\"3\" style=\"font-size: medium;\"\u003eJazz Legend Sonny Rollins Finds His Groove\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/b\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR\/ILLUSTRATOR INFO BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/barry-wittenstein\"\u003eBarry Wittenstein\u003c\/a\u003e \/ Illustrated by: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/keith-mallett\"\u003eKeith Mallett\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER HEADING BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003eA groovy bebop bio of legendary jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins.\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER DESCRIPTION BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSonny Rollins is one of the most prolific sax players in the history of jazz, but in 1959, at the height of his career, he vanished from the scene. His return to music was an interesting journey - with a long detour on the Williamsburg Bridge. Too loud to practice in his apartment, Rollins played on the New York City landmark for two years among the cacophony of the traffic and the stares of bystanders. Then in 1962, Rollins went back to the studio and recorded arguably his best album to date: \u003cem\u003eThe Bridge\u003c\/em\u003e. Told with a jazz edge to the rhyming text, young readers will be inspired by the genius of this jazz legend. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"recommended-books\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/charlesbridge.com\/collections\/ages-6-10\/products\/duke-ellingtons-nutcracker-suite\"\u003eDuke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/charlesbridge.com\/products\/nina\"\u003eNina: Jazz Legend and Civil Rights Activist Nina Simone\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/charlesbridge.com\/products\/struttin-with-some-barbecue-br-font-size-2-lil-harden-armstrong-becomes-the-first-lady-of-jazz-font\"\u003eStruttin' With Some Barbecue: Lil Hardin Armstrong Becomes the First Lady of Jazz\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - START OF TABS - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e [TABS]\n\u003ch5\u003eLook Inside\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg class=\"cvr-border-gray\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/sonnys-bridge-spread.jpg?17341024664459022180\"\u003e\u003c!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --\u003e\n\u003cscript type=\"text\/javascript\" async=\"\" defer data-pin-shape=\"round\" data-pin-height=\"32\" data-pin-hover=\"true\" src=\"\/\/assets.pinterest.com\/js\/pinit.js\"\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - AUTHOR VIDEO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eMeet the Author\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003eBarry Wittenstein on KidLit TV\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/v_yqU7oSR9E\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture\" allowfullscreen=\"\" frameborder=\"0\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAuthor \u0026amp; Illustrator\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBarry Wittenstein, author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBarry Wittenstein has worked at CBS Records, CBS News, and was a web editor and writer for Major League Baseball. He is now a New York City elementary-school substitute teacher and children's author. He is the author of \u003cem\u003eThe Boo-Boos That Changed the World: The True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!)\u003c\/em\u003e and \u003cem\u003eWaiting for Pumpsie\u003c\/em\u003e. Barry lives in the Bronx. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"\/pages\/barry-wittenstein\"\u003eRead more \u003c\/a\u003eabout Barry Wittenstein.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - ENTER ILLUSTRATOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eKeith Mallett, illustrator\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eKeith Mallett studied art at Hunter College in New York City. Keith's work was commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's historic breakthrough into major league baseball, has graced the cover of \u003cem\u003eChicken Soup for the African American Soul,\u003c\/em\u003e and has been featured in many movies and TV shows. He is the illustrator of \u003cem\u003eTake a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee\u003c\/em\u003e and \u003cem\u003eHow Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz.\u003c\/em\u003e Keith lives in San Diego, California. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"\/pages\/keith-mallett\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Keith Mallett.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - ENTER AWARDS \u0026 HONORS BELOW - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAwards \u0026amp; Honors\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eComing soon!\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - ENTER REVIEWS BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eEditorial Reviews\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/star-fade.gif?18127980511287865543\"\u003e \u003cstrong\u003eKirkus Reviews\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e, starred review\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAn appropriately jazzy picture-book biography of African-American musician Sonny Rollins. It impresses from the endpapers, which mirror a vinyl LP in its paper sleeve and then playing on a turntable, to the liner notes about Rollins' seminal album \"The Bridge\" in the back. Born and raised in Harlem, Rollins grew up at the perfect time for a jazz musician. Written in free verse that flirts with rhyme, the text moves through measures and beats like the up-and-down swings of jazz. The vibrant, digitally created illustrations set the mood as they go from deep blue and purple nighttime hues to bright daytime tones and back again. The birth of Rollins' career is explored as he acquires and falls in love with his first horn and learns the nuances of jazz by sneaking into some of the greatest clubs in Harlem. By the time he's 19 people have started to notice how great he truly is. He spends most of the 1950s playing two shows a day, every day. Ten years later he needs a sabbatical: \"Sonny knows if he don't jump, \/ He. Won't. Last.\" He practices on the Williamsburg Bridge, and the first album after his return is called \"The Bridge.\" Child readers may not have thought much about Rollins, but Wittenstein's admiration for his subject establishes his importance. All the characters present as African-American. Opens the door for further exploration of both man and music.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/star-fade.gif?18127980511287865543\"\u003e \u003cstrong\u003eSchool Library Journal\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e, starred review\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe life of jazz legend Sonny Rollins pulses with the rousing spontaneity of his music in Wittenstein’s free verse biography. Readers witness Rollins’s career as an acclaimed musician followed by his explosive success and the subsequent reincarnations of his art. When Rollins feels like his career is one out-of-control improvisation, he ducks out of the limelight, devoting days and nights to playing his sax on the Williamsburg Bridge. On that bridge, he does some soul-searching; after two years, he returns to the spotlight as a more confident, grounded musician. Wittenstein’s verse replicates the swift tempo of bebop, interspersing rhyme and combining informal vernacular with a sense of extemporization in the rhythm. Some words, such as “per-co-lat-ing,” are punctuated at every syllable, each striking like a staccato note. Others are emphasized in all caps and are onomatopoeic (“BOOM BOP BEBOP!”). Mallett’s smooth, bold illustrations are rendered in dusky purples, moody blues, and earth tones: colors suggesting notes of jazz swirling through a thick night sky. An ­author’s note, liner notes to Rollins’s seminal album, \u003ci\u003eThe Bridge\u003c\/i\u003e, a time line, and additional content provide an opportunity for further exploration. ­VERDICT Pair with Rollins’s music to introduce children to this legendary musician and to the rhythmic exuberance of jazz.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003ePublishers Weekly\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\nThis insightful biography of Sonny Rollins opens with two New Yorkers hearing the sound of saxophone: “What the heck is Sonny Rollins doing on the Williamsburg Bridge?” Wittenstein turns back the clock as Mallett depicts formative moments from Rollins’s life alongside concurrent historical events: Rollins is born at the time of the Harlem Renaissance, and discovers a love for saxophone as WWII soldiers march and eventually give way to civil rights demonstrators. After Rollins’s music career launches and he “rockets to the top of the jazz universe,” the book fast forwards to Rollins’s mid-career moment of crisis: “Looks in the mirror,\/ doesn’t like what he sees.\/ Name bigger than talent.” Seeking a private place to play (Rollins leans dejectedly on his fire escape, his saxophone resting against the railing, the sun setting over the Manhattan skyline), he finds solace in practicing on the bridge, which connects “the old to the new,” and leads to a new recording. Wittenstein fluidly provides historical context while exploring the ebbs and flows of the artistic process. Back matter discusses Rollins’s \u003ci\u003eThe Bridge\u003c\/i\u003e album.\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eBooklist\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\nWalter Theodore \"Sonny\" Rollins was born during the Jazz Age in the cradle of the Harlem Renaissance. After WWII, jazz slowly morphed into bebop, and Sonny was in the middle of it. Overwhelmed by early fame, the young saxophonist decided to take a break from the limelight —until the siren song called again, and he began practicing on the Williamsburg Bridge, away from complaining neighbors. The text is divided into \"sets,\" framing the narrative within the larger historical moments, and Wittenstein presents the story in jaunty, lyrical phrasings. He also works in the titles of famous standards like \"Stompin' at the Savoy\" and \"Take the 'A' train.\" Mallett's palette alternates between royal purples and sandy browns, with the digital art seeming to glow during Sonny's highs and dim during his lows. The back matter details some of his heavier moments, including issues with substance abuse, and it mentions a current-day project to rename the Williamsburg Bridge after Rollins. A good choice for collections in need of biographies focused on music or lesser-known African American musicians.\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eShelf Awareness\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eA story about an adult's sabbatical from his professional life is an unusual concept for a children's book, but Barry Wittenstein's jazzy-rhythmed \u003ci\u003eSonny's Bridge\u003c\/i\u003e makes perfect sense once it's in readers' hands.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn the 1940s, a young saxophonist named Sonny Rollins began sneaking into Harlem's Apollo Theater and Cotton Club to hear jazz musicians like John \"Dizzy\" Gillespie and Charlie \"Bird\" Parker. He began playing \"two-bit joints,\" writing his own music and turning standards like Billie Holliday's \"God Bless the Child\" into his own. By his 20s, he had rocketed \"to the top of the jazz universe.\" But when he was \"twenty-nine in '59, in his prime,\/ Sonny shatter[ed] the jazz world\" by taking a break from performing and recording--the pressure had become too intense. Courageously, Sonny took an intermission: \"No gigs, no deadlines, no pressure.... Sixteen hours every day, plays to his heart's de-light\" in the small Lower East Side apartment he shared with his wife. When neighbors complained about the noise, Sonny looked for a private place where he could \"make notes cry and squeak, beg and plead,\/ bend 'em up, bend 'em sideways.\" He found that place on the Williamsburg Bridge, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor more than two years, Sonny found \"refuge and sol-i-tude\" on the pedestrian walkway of the bridge, playing only for himself and the trains and tugboats. When he emerged from his self-imposed exile, rumors swirled about what he'd been doing: Had he found a new sound? Was he afraid of the \"younger cats on the prowl?\" Was he even playing sax anymore? Sonny didn't care. He went back into the recording studio and entered \"a new dimension:\/ his subconscious\/ 'cause 'you can't think and play at the same time.' \" In ear-ly 1962, he released to acclaim a new album called The Bridge. He had become \"more confident in himself as a musician and as a person,\" Wittenstein (\u003ci\u003eWaiting for Pumpsie\u003c\/i\u003e) writes in the \"Liner Notes\" of the book's back matter (which also include an author's note, a timeline of Rollins's life and additional notes and quotes).\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWittenstein's energetic text mimics the syncopated rhythms of jazz, incorporating the lingo and locales of the time. Keith Mallett's (\u003ci\u003eHow Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz\u003c\/i\u003e; \u003ci\u003eTake a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee\u003c\/i\u003e) digital illustrations also capture the electric mood of the end of the bebop era. Using warm, vibrant colors, his depictions of Sonny and his cohort are expressive and full of life. Flashes of gold--a backlit Sonny, glowing streetlights and, always, Henrietta, his trusty sax--glitter through the pages. Readers accustomed to YouTube superstars will be intrigued by this story of one musician--who was already successful and famous--truly \"find[ing] his groove\" after stepping away from the limelight for an unimaginably long period (in today's terms) of more than two years.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eShelf Talker:\u003c\/b\u003e This dynamic picture book tells how legendary jazz sax player Sonny Rollins, at the height of his career, stepped out of public view to find his groove again.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DOWNLOADABLES BELOW - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDownloadables\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: left;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/sonnys-bridge-cvr.jpg?435\" style=\"display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/sonnys-bridge-hires.zip?436\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Cover\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/sonny-activity-guide.pdf?206\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Activity Guide\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/sonnys-bridge-curriculum-guide.pdf?200\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Curriculum Guide\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DETAILS BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDetails\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-58089-881-2\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eE-book\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eISBN: \u003cspan\u003e978-1-63289-738-1\u003c\/span\u003e EPUB\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eISBN: \u003cspan\u003e978-1-63289-739-8\u003c\/span\u003e PDF\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor information about purchasing E-books, \u003ca title=\"E-book\" href=\"http:\/\/charlesbridge.myshopify.com\/pages\/e-books\"\u003eclick here\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAges: 6-9\u003cbr\u003ePage count: 40\u003cbr\u003e10 x 10 \u003c\/p\u003e\n[\/TABS]","published_at":"2018-11-07T12:52:56-05:00","created_at":"2018-11-07T12:41:05-05:00","vendor":"Charlesbridge","type":"Children's Book","tags":[],"price":1799,"price_min":1799,"price_max":1799,"available":true,"price_varies":false,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":15385989316687,"title":"Hardcover","option1":"Hardcover","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"98812","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":false,"featured_image":null,"available":true,"name":"Sonny's Bridge - Hardcover","public_title":"Hardcover","options":["Hardcover"],"price":1799,"weight":0,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_quantity":8,"inventory_management":"shopify","inventory_policy":"continue","barcode":"000-0-00000-000-0"}],"images":["\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/sonnys-bridge-cover.jpg?v=1586803160"],"featured_image":"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/sonnys-bridge-cover.jpg?v=1586803160","options":["Title"],"media":[{"alt":"Sonny's Bridge book cover","id":2482346164303,"position":1,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":600,"width":600,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/sonnys-bridge-cover.jpg?v=1570542685"},"aspect_ratio":1.0,"height":600,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/sonnys-bridge-cover.jpg?v=1570542685","width":600}],"content":"\u003cb\u003e\u003cspan size=\"4\" style=\"font-size: large;\"\u003eSonny's Bridge\u003c\/span\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\u003cspan size=\"3\" style=\"font-size: medium;\"\u003eJazz Legend Sonny Rollins Finds His Groove\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/b\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR\/ILLUSTRATOR INFO BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/barry-wittenstein\"\u003eBarry Wittenstein\u003c\/a\u003e \/ Illustrated by: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/keith-mallett\"\u003eKeith Mallett\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER HEADING BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003eA groovy bebop bio of legendary jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins.\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER DESCRIPTION BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSonny Rollins is one of the most prolific sax players in the history of jazz, but in 1959, at the height of his career, he vanished from the scene. His return to music was an interesting journey - with a long detour on the Williamsburg Bridge. Too loud to practice in his apartment, Rollins played on the New York City landmark for two years among the cacophony of the traffic and the stares of bystanders. Then in 1962, Rollins went back to the studio and recorded arguably his best album to date: \u003cem\u003eThe Bridge\u003c\/em\u003e. Told with a jazz edge to the rhyming text, young readers will be inspired by the genius of this jazz legend. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"recommended-books\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/charlesbridge.com\/collections\/ages-6-10\/products\/duke-ellingtons-nutcracker-suite\"\u003eDuke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/charlesbridge.com\/products\/nina\"\u003eNina: Jazz Legend and Civil Rights Activist Nina Simone\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/charlesbridge.com\/products\/struttin-with-some-barbecue-br-font-size-2-lil-harden-armstrong-becomes-the-first-lady-of-jazz-font\"\u003eStruttin' With Some Barbecue: Lil Hardin Armstrong Becomes the First Lady of Jazz\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - START OF TABS - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e [TABS]\n\u003ch5\u003eLook Inside\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg class=\"cvr-border-gray\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/sonnys-bridge-spread.jpg?17341024664459022180\"\u003e\u003c!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --\u003e\n\u003cscript type=\"text\/javascript\" async=\"\" defer data-pin-shape=\"round\" data-pin-height=\"32\" data-pin-hover=\"true\" src=\"\/\/assets.pinterest.com\/js\/pinit.js\"\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - AUTHOR VIDEO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eMeet the Author\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003eBarry Wittenstein on KidLit TV\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/v_yqU7oSR9E\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture\" allowfullscreen=\"\" frameborder=\"0\" height=\"315\" width=\"560\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAuthor \u0026amp; Illustrator\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBarry Wittenstein, author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBarry Wittenstein has worked at CBS Records, CBS News, and was a web editor and writer for Major League Baseball. He is now a New York City elementary-school substitute teacher and children's author. He is the author of \u003cem\u003eThe Boo-Boos That Changed the World: The True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!)\u003c\/em\u003e and \u003cem\u003eWaiting for Pumpsie\u003c\/em\u003e. Barry lives in the Bronx. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"\/pages\/barry-wittenstein\"\u003eRead more \u003c\/a\u003eabout Barry Wittenstein.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - ENTER ILLUSTRATOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eKeith Mallett, illustrator\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eKeith Mallett studied art at Hunter College in New York City. Keith's work was commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's historic breakthrough into major league baseball, has graced the cover of \u003cem\u003eChicken Soup for the African American Soul,\u003c\/em\u003e and has been featured in many movies and TV shows. He is the illustrator of \u003cem\u003eTake a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee\u003c\/em\u003e and \u003cem\u003eHow Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz.\u003c\/em\u003e Keith lives in San Diego, California. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"\/pages\/keith-mallett\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Keith Mallett.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - ENTER AWARDS \u0026 HONORS BELOW - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAwards \u0026amp; Honors\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eComing soon!\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - ENTER REVIEWS BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eEditorial Reviews\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/star-fade.gif?18127980511287865543\"\u003e \u003cstrong\u003eKirkus Reviews\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e, starred review\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAn appropriately jazzy picture-book biography of African-American musician Sonny Rollins. It impresses from the endpapers, which mirror a vinyl LP in its paper sleeve and then playing on a turntable, to the liner notes about Rollins' seminal album \"The Bridge\" in the back. Born and raised in Harlem, Rollins grew up at the perfect time for a jazz musician. Written in free verse that flirts with rhyme, the text moves through measures and beats like the up-and-down swings of jazz. The vibrant, digitally created illustrations set the mood as they go from deep blue and purple nighttime hues to bright daytime tones and back again. The birth of Rollins' career is explored as he acquires and falls in love with his first horn and learns the nuances of jazz by sneaking into some of the greatest clubs in Harlem. By the time he's 19 people have started to notice how great he truly is. He spends most of the 1950s playing two shows a day, every day. Ten years later he needs a sabbatical: \"Sonny knows if he don't jump, \/ He. Won't. Last.\" He practices on the Williamsburg Bridge, and the first album after his return is called \"The Bridge.\" Child readers may not have thought much about Rollins, but Wittenstein's admiration for his subject establishes his importance. All the characters present as African-American. Opens the door for further exploration of both man and music.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/star-fade.gif?18127980511287865543\"\u003e \u003cstrong\u003eSchool Library Journal\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e, starred review\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe life of jazz legend Sonny Rollins pulses with the rousing spontaneity of his music in Wittenstein’s free verse biography. Readers witness Rollins’s career as an acclaimed musician followed by his explosive success and the subsequent reincarnations of his art. When Rollins feels like his career is one out-of-control improvisation, he ducks out of the limelight, devoting days and nights to playing his sax on the Williamsburg Bridge. On that bridge, he does some soul-searching; after two years, he returns to the spotlight as a more confident, grounded musician. Wittenstein’s verse replicates the swift tempo of bebop, interspersing rhyme and combining informal vernacular with a sense of extemporization in the rhythm. Some words, such as “per-co-lat-ing,” are punctuated at every syllable, each striking like a staccato note. Others are emphasized in all caps and are onomatopoeic (“BOOM BOP BEBOP!”). Mallett’s smooth, bold illustrations are rendered in dusky purples, moody blues, and earth tones: colors suggesting notes of jazz swirling through a thick night sky. An ­author’s note, liner notes to Rollins’s seminal album, \u003ci\u003eThe Bridge\u003c\/i\u003e, a time line, and additional content provide an opportunity for further exploration. ­VERDICT Pair with Rollins’s music to introduce children to this legendary musician and to the rhythmic exuberance of jazz.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003ePublishers Weekly\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\nThis insightful biography of Sonny Rollins opens with two New Yorkers hearing the sound of saxophone: “What the heck is Sonny Rollins doing on the Williamsburg Bridge?” Wittenstein turns back the clock as Mallett depicts formative moments from Rollins’s life alongside concurrent historical events: Rollins is born at the time of the Harlem Renaissance, and discovers a love for saxophone as WWII soldiers march and eventually give way to civil rights demonstrators. After Rollins’s music career launches and he “rockets to the top of the jazz universe,” the book fast forwards to Rollins’s mid-career moment of crisis: “Looks in the mirror,\/ doesn’t like what he sees.\/ Name bigger than talent.” Seeking a private place to play (Rollins leans dejectedly on his fire escape, his saxophone resting against the railing, the sun setting over the Manhattan skyline), he finds solace in practicing on the bridge, which connects “the old to the new,” and leads to a new recording. Wittenstein fluidly provides historical context while exploring the ebbs and flows of the artistic process. Back matter discusses Rollins’s \u003ci\u003eThe Bridge\u003c\/i\u003e album.\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eBooklist\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\nWalter Theodore \"Sonny\" Rollins was born during the Jazz Age in the cradle of the Harlem Renaissance. After WWII, jazz slowly morphed into bebop, and Sonny was in the middle of it. Overwhelmed by early fame, the young saxophonist decided to take a break from the limelight —until the siren song called again, and he began practicing on the Williamsburg Bridge, away from complaining neighbors. The text is divided into \"sets,\" framing the narrative within the larger historical moments, and Wittenstein presents the story in jaunty, lyrical phrasings. He also works in the titles of famous standards like \"Stompin' at the Savoy\" and \"Take the 'A' train.\" Mallett's palette alternates between royal purples and sandy browns, with the digital art seeming to glow during Sonny's highs and dim during his lows. The back matter details some of his heavier moments, including issues with substance abuse, and it mentions a current-day project to rename the Williamsburg Bridge after Rollins. A good choice for collections in need of biographies focused on music or lesser-known African American musicians.\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eShelf Awareness\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eA story about an adult's sabbatical from his professional life is an unusual concept for a children's book, but Barry Wittenstein's jazzy-rhythmed \u003ci\u003eSonny's Bridge\u003c\/i\u003e makes perfect sense once it's in readers' hands.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn the 1940s, a young saxophonist named Sonny Rollins began sneaking into Harlem's Apollo Theater and Cotton Club to hear jazz musicians like John \"Dizzy\" Gillespie and Charlie \"Bird\" Parker. He began playing \"two-bit joints,\" writing his own music and turning standards like Billie Holliday's \"God Bless the Child\" into his own. By his 20s, he had rocketed \"to the top of the jazz universe.\" But when he was \"twenty-nine in '59, in his prime,\/ Sonny shatter[ed] the jazz world\" by taking a break from performing and recording--the pressure had become too intense. Courageously, Sonny took an intermission: \"No gigs, no deadlines, no pressure.... Sixteen hours every day, plays to his heart's de-light\" in the small Lower East Side apartment he shared with his wife. When neighbors complained about the noise, Sonny looked for a private place where he could \"make notes cry and squeak, beg and plead,\/ bend 'em up, bend 'em sideways.\" He found that place on the Williamsburg Bridge, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor more than two years, Sonny found \"refuge and sol-i-tude\" on the pedestrian walkway of the bridge, playing only for himself and the trains and tugboats. When he emerged from his self-imposed exile, rumors swirled about what he'd been doing: Had he found a new sound? Was he afraid of the \"younger cats on the prowl?\" Was he even playing sax anymore? Sonny didn't care. He went back into the recording studio and entered \"a new dimension:\/ his subconscious\/ 'cause 'you can't think and play at the same time.' \" In ear-ly 1962, he released to acclaim a new album called The Bridge. He had become \"more confident in himself as a musician and as a person,\" Wittenstein (\u003ci\u003eWaiting for Pumpsie\u003c\/i\u003e) writes in the \"Liner Notes\" of the book's back matter (which also include an author's note, a timeline of Rollins's life and additional notes and quotes).\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWittenstein's energetic text mimics the syncopated rhythms of jazz, incorporating the lingo and locales of the time. Keith Mallett's (\u003ci\u003eHow Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz\u003c\/i\u003e; \u003ci\u003eTake a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee\u003c\/i\u003e) digital illustrations also capture the electric mood of the end of the bebop era. Using warm, vibrant colors, his depictions of Sonny and his cohort are expressive and full of life. Flashes of gold--a backlit Sonny, glowing streetlights and, always, Henrietta, his trusty sax--glitter through the pages. Readers accustomed to YouTube superstars will be intrigued by this story of one musician--who was already successful and famous--truly \"find[ing] his groove\" after stepping away from the limelight for an unimaginably long period (in today's terms) of more than two years.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eShelf Talker:\u003c\/b\u003e This dynamic picture book tells how legendary jazz sax player Sonny Rollins, at the height of his career, stepped out of public view to find his groove again.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DOWNLOADABLES BELOW - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDownloadables\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: left;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/sonnys-bridge-cvr.jpg?435\" style=\"display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/sonnys-bridge-hires.zip?436\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Cover\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/sonny-activity-guide.pdf?206\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Activity Guide\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/sonnys-bridge-curriculum-guide.pdf?200\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Curriculum Guide\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DETAILS BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDetails\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-58089-881-2\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eE-book\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eISBN: \u003cspan\u003e978-1-63289-738-1\u003c\/span\u003e EPUB\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eISBN: \u003cspan\u003e978-1-63289-739-8\u003c\/span\u003e PDF\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor information about purchasing E-books, \u003ca title=\"E-book\" href=\"http:\/\/charlesbridge.myshopify.com\/pages\/e-books\"\u003eclick here\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAges: 6-9\u003cbr\u003ePage count: 40\u003cbr\u003e10 x 10 \u003c\/p\u003e\n[\/TABS]"}

Sonny's Bridge

Sonny's Bridge
Jazz Legend Sonny Rollins Finds His Groove

By: Barry Wittenstein / Illustrated by: Keith Mallett

A groovy bebop bio of legendary jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins.

Sonny Rollins is one of the most prolific sax players in the history of jazz, but in 1959, at the height of his career, he vanished from the scene. His return to music was an interesting journey - with a long detour on the Williamsburg Bridge. Too loud to practice in his apartment, Rollins played on the New York City landmark for two years among the cacophony of the traffic and the stares of bystanders. Then in 1962, Rollins went back to the studio and recorded arguably his best album to date: The Bridge. Told with a jazz edge to the rhyming text, young readers will be inspired by the genius of this jazz legend. 

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Barry Wittenstein on KidLit TV

Barry Wittenstein, author

Barry Wittenstein has worked at CBS Records, CBS News, and was a web editor and writer for Major League Baseball. He is now a New York City elementary-school substitute teacher and children's author. He is the author of The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: The True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!) and Waiting for Pumpsie. Barry lives in the Bronx. 

Read more about Barry Wittenstein.

Keith Mallett, illustrator

Keith Mallett studied art at Hunter College in New York City. Keith's work was commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's historic breakthrough into major league baseball, has graced the cover of Chicken Soup for the African American Soul, and has been featured in many movies and TV shows. He is the illustrator of Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee and How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz. Keith lives in San Diego, California. 

Read more about Keith Mallett.

  • Coming soon!

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

An appropriately jazzy picture-book biography of African-American musician Sonny Rollins. It impresses from the endpapers, which mirror a vinyl LP in its paper sleeve and then playing on a turntable, to the liner notes about Rollins' seminal album "The Bridge" in the back. Born and raised in Harlem, Rollins grew up at the perfect time for a jazz musician. Written in free verse that flirts with rhyme, the text moves through measures and beats like the up-and-down swings of jazz. The vibrant, digitally created illustrations set the mood as they go from deep blue and purple nighttime hues to bright daytime tones and back again. The birth of Rollins' career is explored as he acquires and falls in love with his first horn and learns the nuances of jazz by sneaking into some of the greatest clubs in Harlem. By the time he's 19 people have started to notice how great he truly is. He spends most of the 1950s playing two shows a day, every day. Ten years later he needs a sabbatical: "Sonny knows if he don't jump, / He. Won't. Last." He practices on the Williamsburg Bridge, and the first album after his return is called "The Bridge." Child readers may not have thought much about Rollins, but Wittenstein's admiration for his subject establishes his importance. All the characters present as African-American. Opens the door for further exploration of both man and music.

School Library Journal, starred review

The life of jazz legend Sonny Rollins pulses with the rousing spontaneity of his music in Wittenstein’s free verse biography. Readers witness Rollins’s career as an acclaimed musician followed by his explosive success and the subsequent reincarnations of his art. When Rollins feels like his career is one out-of-control improvisation, he ducks out of the limelight, devoting days and nights to playing his sax on the Williamsburg Bridge. On that bridge, he does some soul-searching; after two years, he returns to the spotlight as a more confident, grounded musician. Wittenstein’s verse replicates the swift tempo of bebop, interspersing rhyme and combining informal vernacular with a sense of extemporization in the rhythm. Some words, such as “per-co-lat-ing,” are punctuated at every syllable, each striking like a staccato note. Others are emphasized in all caps and are onomatopoeic (“BOOM BOP BEBOP!”). Mallett’s smooth, bold illustrations are rendered in dusky purples, moody blues, and earth tones: colors suggesting notes of jazz swirling through a thick night sky. An ­author’s note, liner notes to Rollins’s seminal album, The Bridge, a time line, and additional content provide an opportunity for further exploration. ­VERDICT Pair with Rollins’s music to introduce children to this legendary musician and to the rhythmic exuberance of jazz.

Publishers Weekly

This insightful biography of Sonny Rollins opens with two New Yorkers hearing the sound of saxophone: “What the heck is Sonny Rollins doing on the Williamsburg Bridge?” Wittenstein turns back the clock as Mallett depicts formative moments from Rollins’s life alongside concurrent historical events: Rollins is born at the time of the Harlem Renaissance, and discovers a love for saxophone as WWII soldiers march and eventually give way to civil rights demonstrators. After Rollins’s music career launches and he “rockets to the top of the jazz universe,” the book fast forwards to Rollins’s mid-career moment of crisis: “Looks in the mirror,/ doesn’t like what he sees./ Name bigger than talent.” Seeking a private place to play (Rollins leans dejectedly on his fire escape, his saxophone resting against the railing, the sun setting over the Manhattan skyline), he finds solace in practicing on the bridge, which connects “the old to the new,” and leads to a new recording. Wittenstein fluidly provides historical context while exploring the ebbs and flows of the artistic process. Back matter discusses Rollins’s The Bridge album.

Booklist

Walter Theodore "Sonny" Rollins was born during the Jazz Age in the cradle of the Harlem Renaissance. After WWII, jazz slowly morphed into bebop, and Sonny was in the middle of it. Overwhelmed by early fame, the young saxophonist decided to take a break from the limelight —until the siren song called again, and he began practicing on the Williamsburg Bridge, away from complaining neighbors. The text is divided into "sets," framing the narrative within the larger historical moments, and Wittenstein presents the story in jaunty, lyrical phrasings. He also works in the titles of famous standards like "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Take the 'A' train." Mallett's palette alternates between royal purples and sandy browns, with the digital art seeming to glow during Sonny's highs and dim during his lows. The back matter details some of his heavier moments, including issues with substance abuse, and it mentions a current-day project to rename the Williamsburg Bridge after Rollins. A good choice for collections in need of biographies focused on music or lesser-known African American musicians.

Shelf Awareness

A story about an adult's sabbatical from his professional life is an unusual concept for a children's book, but Barry Wittenstein's jazzy-rhythmed Sonny's Bridge makes perfect sense once it's in readers' hands.

In the 1940s, a young saxophonist named Sonny Rollins began sneaking into Harlem's Apollo Theater and Cotton Club to hear jazz musicians like John "Dizzy" Gillespie and Charlie "Bird" Parker. He began playing "two-bit joints," writing his own music and turning standards like Billie Holliday's "God Bless the Child" into his own. By his 20s, he had rocketed "to the top of the jazz universe." But when he was "twenty-nine in '59, in his prime,/ Sonny shatter[ed] the jazz world" by taking a break from performing and recording--the pressure had become too intense. Courageously, Sonny took an intermission: "No gigs, no deadlines, no pressure.... Sixteen hours every day, plays to his heart's de-light" in the small Lower East Side apartment he shared with his wife. When neighbors complained about the noise, Sonny looked for a private place where he could "make notes cry and squeak, beg and plead,/ bend 'em up, bend 'em sideways." He found that place on the Williamsburg Bridge, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn.

For more than two years, Sonny found "refuge and sol-i-tude" on the pedestrian walkway of the bridge, playing only for himself and the trains and tugboats. When he emerged from his self-imposed exile, rumors swirled about what he'd been doing: Had he found a new sound? Was he afraid of the "younger cats on the prowl?" Was he even playing sax anymore? Sonny didn't care. He went back into the recording studio and entered "a new dimension:/ his subconscious/ 'cause 'you can't think and play at the same time.' " In ear-ly 1962, he released to acclaim a new album called The Bridge. He had become "more confident in himself as a musician and as a person," Wittenstein (Waiting for Pumpsie) writes in the "Liner Notes" of the book's back matter (which also include an author's note, a timeline of Rollins's life and additional notes and quotes).

Wittenstein's energetic text mimics the syncopated rhythms of jazz, incorporating the lingo and locales of the time. Keith Mallett's (How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz; Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee) digital illustrations also capture the electric mood of the end of the bebop era. Using warm, vibrant colors, his depictions of Sonny and his cohort are expressive and full of life. Flashes of gold--a backlit Sonny, glowing streetlights and, always, Henrietta, his trusty sax--glitter through the pages. Readers accustomed to YouTube superstars will be intrigued by this story of one musician--who was already successful and famous--truly "find[ing] his groove" after stepping away from the limelight for an unimaginably long period (in today's terms) of more than two years.

 

Shelf Talker: This dynamic picture book tells how legendary jazz sax player Sonny Rollins, at the height of his career, stepped out of public view to find his groove again.

Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-58089-881-2

E-book
ISBN: 978-1-63289-738-1 EPUB

ISBN: 978-1-63289-739-8 PDF

For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 6-9
Page count: 40
10 x 10