Henri Matisse’s surroundings were colorless. Rain-drenched weather plagued his hometown, with only gray skies for miles around. But inside his home his mother made sure color flowed through their lives. Their curtains and rugs were of varying hues, hand-painted plates adorned the walls, and there was always The Iridescence of Birds (Roaring Brook, $17.99) on the window ledge, not far from Henri’s sight. Newbery award-winning author, Patricia MacLachlan explores what might have inspired this great artist to paint such vivid images. Coupled with vibrant illustrations by Hadley Hooper, this book is sure to make readers yearn to know more about Matisse and his colorful works of art.  Ages 4-8. KLG

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse Cover Image
ISBN: 9781596439481
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - October 14th, 2014

Famed rock and roller Keith Richards makes his first foray into children’s literature with Gus and Me (Little, Brown, $18), the charming story of his own introduction to the guitar. As a boy, Keith idolized his grandfather, Gus, and was fascinated by his guitar, which he’d been forbidden to touch until he was older. When he’s finally old enough, his grandfather brings the guitar down and presents it to him, unaware of the impact the instrument will have on Keith’s life. Together with his daughter Theodora Richards’s simple yet evocative artwork, Richards’s story emphasizes his own love of music, as well as the magically childlike feeling of discovery. Ages 4-8. CEB

Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar Cover Image
By Keith Richards, Theodora Richards (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780316320658
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 9th, 2014

Melba Doretta Liston was a trailblazing jazz musician, one of the first women to become a renowned trombone player and composer, but this picture book biography starts before all that, when it was just Little Melba and Her Big Trombone (Lee & Low Books, $18.95). Melba was born in 1926 in Kansas City, “where you could reach out and feel the music.” Author Katheryn Russell-Brown traces Melba’s story from teaching herself to play the ungainly instrument and playing on the local radio station at eight, to the struggles she faced touring in the South with Billie Holiday. Illustrator Frank Morrison’s rich oil paintings bring Melba’s story to life, and for the readers eager to hear Melba’s sound for themselves, or do some further reading, there are a Discography and Bibliography included in the end notes.  Ages 4-8. ENR

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone Cover Image
ISBN: 9781600608988
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Lee & Low Books - July 1st, 2014