Cover image for The jazz fly : starring the Jazz Bugs
The jazz fly : starring the Jazz Bugs
Gollub, Matthew.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Rosa, Calif. : Tortuga Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
30 pages : illustrations ; 22 x 27 cm + 1 computer optical disc.
Reading Level:
AD 480 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.9 0.5 53217.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Media Kit Picture Books
PIC.BK. Adult Media Kit Media Kits
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Media Kits
PIC. BK. Juvenile Media Kit Media Kits
PIC.BK. Juvenile Media Kit Media Kits
PIC.BK. Juvenile Media Kit Media Kits
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



This singular story about musical insects celebrates language and the inventive spirit of jazz. The book includes an AUDIO CD and FREE DOWNLOAD featuring the author's rhythmic narration of the story set to a jazz quartet. A fly, who speaks jazz, asks different critters which way to town. "Rrribit," replies the frog. "Oink," says the hog. Although baffled, the fly hears music in their words, and that evening he uses those sounds to set the insect dinner club a hoppin.' The computer enhanced artwork of Karen Hanke perfectly complements the text and CD. Get ready to tap, snap, and swing to the beat as Nancy the Gnat, Willie the Worm, and Sammy the Centipede take the stage. Here's a combination of storytelling, visual art, and music for children to savor time and again.

Writer's Digest National Self-Published Book Award
America's #1 Recommended Children's Book -Children's Book Sense 76
Benjamin Franklin Award for children's book/audio book
Smithsonian's Notable Books for Children
California Department of Education Suggested Reading
San Francisco Chronicle Editors' Picks
Featured on "West Coast Live" and major jazz radio stations

Author Notes

Matthew Gollub is a nationally known children's author, speaker and performer. He has created 18 picture books which together have garnered 25 national awards and distinctions. His musical narrations on audio CDs accompany some of his most popular books including The Jazz Fly and Jazz Fly 2: The Jungle Pachanga . A dynamic drummer and bilingual presenter, he has also performed at over 1,000 elementary schools nationwide, inspiring students and families to read for fun. He lives with his family in Santa Rosa, CA.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-7. A fly gets lost on his way to a performance, so he asks several animals how to get to town: "ZA-baza, BOO-zaba, ZEE-zah RO-ni?" he asks. The frog, the hog, and the donkey don't understand Jazz Fly, but, fortunately, the dog does. Arriving at the club, Jazz Fly sits down at his drums and begins to play, incorporating the animal sounds into his music to great audience response. The story is slight but bouncy, especially as it's told by the author on the accompanying audie CD, with the narration heightened by the music of a jazz quartet. The illustrations are mostly black, white, and gray, with splashes of color to accentuate the jazzy style. --Susan Dove Lempke

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-When a drummer fly gets lost on his way to a gig, he tries to get directions from a frog, a pig, a donkey, and a dog, but none of them speaks his language. He finally finds his way to the club and all is well until the Queen Bee demands "-a new BEAT/or this band is OUT!" The fly is stymied until he remembers the retorts of the animals he heard on his way and uses those noises to create a whole new sound that makes the band famous. The rhyming text includes scat refrains like "ZA-baza, BOO-zaba, ZEE-zah RO-ni" that just beg to be read aloud. The unique illustrations, gray-toned pictures with contrasting hints of pastel colors, were accomplished by scanning pencil sketches into a Macintosh computer and then re-creating them with Adobe Illustrator. One spread features the gray figures of the bassist and saxophonist spotlighted in green and pink, respectively. The text itself is cleverly designed. Words representing sounds are portrayed as if they are coming right out of the animals' mouths in colored fonts. Together the illustrations and book design give the whole enterprise the feel of jazz, even without musical accompaniment. The accompanying CD is delightful. Gollub narrates with a jazzy beat, and the danceable music perfectly accentuates the story. Children will love hearing this book read aloud and imitating the animal sounds and other refrains. A natural for storytimes.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.