King of Ragtime: The Story of Scott Joplin (Hardcover)
July/August 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“The biography of Scott Joplin is interesting and well told. I can hear the ragtime rhythm in the text, but the art? The art is beautiful! Just fantastic.”
— Heather Weirich-Roy, Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, NH
There was something special about Scott Joplin…
This quiet kid could make a piano laugh out loud.
Scott, the son of a man who had been enslaved,
became a king—the King of Ragtime.
This celebration of Scott Joplin, whose ragtime compositions paved the way for jazz, will captivate audiences and put a beat in their step, and the kaleidoscope-like illustrations will draw young readers in again and again.
Stephen Costanza has illustrated and written several books for children, including three about music, Mozart Finds a Melody, Vivaldi and the Invisible Orchestra, and King of Ragtime. He studied music and composition, and for a time played piano professionally, performing both ragtime and classical music. He lives on a small island in Maine. Visit him at StephenCostanza.com.
— Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
* "The melodic, flowing text goes beyond Joplin's personal details to paint a picture of what life looked like for African Americans during the Jim Crow era . . . Examples are effortlessly woven into the narrative. . . [Events] come alive through gloriously vibrant, full-page gouache collages that pop off of pages, filled with creative and expressive details . . . this attractive offering makes a great read-aloud.
— Booklist, Starred Review
* "In this pitch-perfect picture book biography . . . Costanza establishes an atmospheric, folkloric tone in narration rich with onomatopoeia and figurative language . . . fine-lined human figures are delightfully fluid and surrealistic, with Costanza showcasing a deep understanding of color theory. . . A richly detailed profile fit for a king."
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review