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Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald by…
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Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald

by Roxane Orgill

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“Skit-Skat Raggedy Cat” was an excellent book that chronicled the life of Ella Fitzgerald. I did not know much about the singer before reading, “Skit-Skat Raggedy Cat” but after reading it I learned a lot about Ella and her interesting life and rise to fame. I enjoyed the book very much for two main reasons. First, I liked the book because of the way it was written. Ella Fitzgerald was famous for her “skat” style of singing and the book was written almost like a skat song. This is exemplified through lines such as “Ella was a rough-tough raggedy cat on the outside, but inside she was milky and silky and soft and shy” and “They climbed aboard the rumble-rumble subway train (five cents more) to 125th Street, New York City.” This made the book fun to read and very authentic, because it was like Ella was singing her story to readers. Secondly, I liked the book for the message it sent. “Skit-Skat Raggedy Cat” was about Ella Fitzgerald’s tumultuous life and the difficult journey she had to fame. She was poor, abused, homeless, and ridiculed. However, Ella never gave up on herself and always persevered in the face of her many adversities. This is seen through the sentence, “She’d had a dancing beat in her feet ever since she was a bitty girl in Yonkers, and all she ever needed was a chance to send that beat traveling up through her body, into her throat, and out of her mouth in a song.” This described Ella’s character perfectly. Even though she was not the prettiest girl in the world or the richest, she took every chance that was given to her and worked very hard so she could accomplish all of her dreams. The big idea of, “Skit- Skat Raggedy Cat” is to always follow your dreams, no matter what you look like or where you come from. A line in the book says, “Ella was thirteen. Her mouth was too big and her eyes were squinty. Ella was not pretty, but she could dance.” The last part of this sentence is so important, because it exemplifies how Ella always remembered what she was good at, instead of focusing on what she was lacking. Also, Ella came from a very unstable home and eventually became homeless. She did not have any family or support, and had to fend for herself for the majority of her life. This never stopped Ella from reaching her dreams or kept her out of fancy places in New York City where she could showcase her singing talents. Ella Fitzgerald is a wonderful role model for people, because she always went for what she wanted in life despite her appearance and humble beginnings. Without her fighting spirit and perseverance Ella would not have achieved her dream of being the fantastic singer that she is known as today. ( )
  MaryBethLingner | Nov 10, 2013 |
This story is about the life and trials Ella Fitzgerald went through to become a famous Jazz musician. This story would be great to read to student to teach them that nothing can stop you from achieving your goals, always try your hardest. This book would be easy for some students to relate to and good incite for other students to appreciate hard work. ( )
  crfonten | Apr 26, 2013 |
Informative, attractively illustrated introduction to Fitzgerald. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
Ella Fitzgerald was just like any other singer and dancer. Growing up she was very poor and she would often dance in the street for spare change. It took the memory of her mother to finally audition at many amateur nights, often winning prizes. The story shows how Ella went from having nothing to having everything. The story was another biography that I enjoyed. ( )
  achatela | Mar 14, 2013 |
This book was illustrated with the use of acrylic, pencil and collage. The pictures are very colorful and fun to look at. The story is a bit long so I would read it to 3rd graders at the least. I think the story is very lively and interesting. It doesn't seem as though your reading history to the class. I love how no matter what Ella would fight for her dream or being a performer. ( )
  TamaraSmith | Jan 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763617334, Hardcover)

A swinging bio of young Ella Fitzgerald, who pushed through the toughest of times to become one of America’s most beloved jazz singers.

When Ella Fitzgerald danced the Lindy Hop on the streets of 1930s Yonkers, passersby said good-bye to their loose change. But for a girl who was orphaned and hungry, with raggedy clothes and often no place to spend the night, small change was not enough. One amateur night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Ella made a discovery: the dancing beat in her feet could travel up and out of her mouth in a powerful song —and the feeling of being listened to was like a salve to her heart. With lively prose, Roxane Orgill follows the gutsy Ella from school-girl days to a featured spot with Chick Webb’s band and all the way to her number-one radio hit "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." Jazzy mixed-media art by illustrator Sean Qualls brings the singer’s indomitable spirit to life.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:35 -0400)

A biography of jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald.

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Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

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