Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald

by Roxane Orgill and Sean Qualls

“Ella was going to be famous. She told everyone so. Never mind her broken-down... read more

“Ella was going to be famous. She told everyone so. Never mind her broken-down shoes. Ella was raggedy and poor, but she was tough.” Ella Fitzgerald needed to be tough as a teen. Her mother died when she was fourteen, and the music in Ella seemed to die for awhile, too. Ella eventually opted for life on the streets over an orphanage, singing and dancing on corners, soaking up everything about music that she could. Roxane Orgill’s be-bopping picture book biography describes Ella’s early years and her against-the-odds rise to fame as she worked to shape passion and raw talent into her distinctive musical style. Ella took advantage of every chance that came her way, turning small breaks into big opportunities to shine. “She’d had a dancing beat in her feet ever since she was a bitty girl in Yonkers, and all she ever needed was a chance to send that beat traveling up through her body, into her throat, and out her mouth into a song.” Colors glide with cool rhythms in Sean Qualls’s energetic paintings. (Ages 6–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011

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