NOVEMBER (2)May 10th, 2017 | Posted by in 2017-2018 | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | November | 2017-2018 Intermediate
Esquivel! Space–Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood. Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. Charlesbridge, 2016
Juan Garcia Esquivel was an avant garde musician born and raised in Mexico. Captivated by music and by sounds as a child, he had no formal musical training and “focused on how sounds could be arranged” as he started to create music of his own. “He was an artist, using dips and dabs of color to create a vivid landscape. But instead of paint, Juan used sound. Weird and wild sounds! Strange and exciting sounds!” As a young man he moved to New York City, and soon was creating music that had everyone talking—and listening! The artist known simply, emphatically, as “Esquivel!” became hugely popular in the 1950s into the 1960s, in the heyday of easy-listening “lounge” music. Now new generations are discovering his unique and playful stylings. An energetic narrative set against distinctive illustrations with elements of whimsy introduces the musician to young readers and listeners, while end matter includes where to read, listen, watch, and find out more. (Ages 8–11) © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:
- How do the author and illustrator describe sound in the book? How would you describe – with words, images, action — a sound you hear around you?
- Why do you think Juan Esquivel was called a space-age sound artist?
- How did Esquivel make old styles of music new? How does the illustrator of the book make old styles of art new?
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