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Women and Jazz

In March we celebrate Women’s History Month, and on March 8 International Women’s Day is recognized around the globe.

There are many books in The Diverse BookFinder that honor the achievements of women great and small, from the extraordinary to the everyday.

As April is Jazz Appreciation Month, this Women’s History Month we are focusing on women and music. Some of these are biographies of famous jazz musicians, others about a child learning a new skill, the importance of music to a community and above all, having fun.

As we consider the many ways we can see the lives of women and girls in picture books, the categories in the Diverse BookFinder help us see how people are represented in a story:

Biographies About Women and Music

Biographies are often straightforward histories of a person’s life, but picture books let us contextualize experiences in new ways for young readers. They not only show people doing great things, but also how they came to develop those skills.

While these are some of our favorites in the category, The Diverse BookFinder’s database has over 126 biography picture books in our system. Take a peek and see what other biographies about strong female characters you can find.

Women and Music Around the World

Beautiful Life stories are about a particular racial or cultural group experiences and take readers into the everyday world of characters in countries around the world.

Finding the music

2015

by Jennifer Torres, Renato Alarcão and Alexis Romay

"A young Latina girl accidentally breaks her grandfather's vihuela and searches for someone in the community to fix the instrument, which leads her to discover her grandfather's legacy as a mariachi. Includes an author's note and glossary"--|cProvided by publisher

Beautiful Life

¡A bailar!

2011

by Judith Ortiz Cofer and Christina Ann Rodriguez

A young girl and her mother put on their red dresses and dance their way through the barrio, collecting friends and neighbors along the way as they go to the park to hear her father's salsa band play

Beautiful Life

A song for Jamela

2010

by Niki Daly

"The summer holidays are here, and Jamela is as bored as a girl can be! All she can think about is the Afro-Idols TV final - so when she lands a job at Divine Braids hair salon, she can't believe her eyes at the arrival of the glamorous Afro-Idols celebrity Miss Bambi Chaka Chaka. But while Jamela's idol dozes and Aunt Beauty designs her starry hairdo, a buzzy fly appears on the scene and threatens to ruin everything . . . can creative Jamela save the day?"--Provided by publisher

Beautiful Life

While these are some of our favorites in the category, The Diverse BookFinder’s database has over 423 Beautiful Life picture books in our system. Take a peek and see what other stories about strong female characters around the world you can find.

Women & Girls Enjoying Music

Any Child books include stories depicting characters of color which do not make race, ethnicity, or culture part of the plot. These books depict children of color in everyday settings doing everyday activities.

While these are some of our favorites in the category, The Diverse BookFinder’s database has over 166 Any Child picture books in our system. Take a peek and see what other stories about women and girls who just love music you can find.

Women & Girls Sharing Music

Cross Group books are stories that portray character interactions across racial or cultural difference, including those depicting same-age and cross-age friendships.

While these are some of our favorites in the category, The Diverse BookFinder’s database has over 110 Cross Group picture books in our system. Take a peek and see what other stories about women and girls who just love music you can find.

Stories about women and music cover many of the categories represented in the Diverse BookFinder. We can find inspirational biographies, learn about the music of various cultures, see interactions across groups, and help a child find themselves in a story. Like multicultural books more broadly, not every racial or ethnic group is represented in this topic. Not every culture or community can find themselves and their musical traditions in picture books. There is much to learn, and still more missing from the conversation. We hope people can use our system to identify books for their collections and think critically about what is missing completely.

Do you want to know more about women in jazz? Try out this guide from NPR:

https://www.npr.org/sections/ablogsupreme/2013/05/10/182885860/a-diy-guide-to-the-history-of-women-in-jazz

Many of the cover images on this site are from Google Books.