Foreword Reviews

Jazz Fly 3

The Caribbean Sea

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Between its colorful, dynamic illustrations and clever linguistic elements, Jazz Fly 3 is truly magnifique.

Matthew Gollub’s glamorous picture book Jazz Fly 3 is full of fun, music, and adventure—as fun to read as it is to listen to on the accompanying CD or download.

The Jazz Fly series features the insects who form The Jazz Bugs, a band that, in this case, has a gig to play on a cruise ship traveling through the Caribbean. The Jazz Bugs’ rousing performance take place in a ballroom while the many different kinds of bugs onboard enjoy their cruise, speaking in Spanish, French, and English as a reflection of Caribbean diversity. Pirates, a surging storm, and getting stranded at sea liven up the trip without breaking the Jazz Bugs’ spirits. Along the way, they meet sea creatures and keep playing their music.

The illustrations broaden the range of the potential audience. They are interesting to look at with or without the words of the story. It helps that the many characters wear different, bright clothes, and that many insects and sea creatures are represented. Humorous asides also broaden the book’s appeal, including Captain Cockroach’s love note: “Dearest Nancy, let’s sail as one. Your jazz moves my exoskeleton.”

Perilous events within the text are exciting rather than frightening, and the unflagging positivity exhibited by the Jazz Fly, Nancy, and the rest of the Jazz Bugs makes all an adventure, never an ordeal. A final author’s note covers Caribbean jazz and features of the region, bringing real history and culture forward. While the written-out jazz scatting and Spanish and French terms are confusing at first, each language is presented in its own color font, and the book’s front pages define the French and Spanish phrases for monolingual readers.

The CD includes both music and the narration. It is an excellent addition that features three languages. Between its colorful, dynamic illustrations and clever linguistic elements, Jazz Fly 3 is truly magnifique.

Reviewed by Laura Leavitt

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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