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Ben's Trumpet by Rachel Isadora
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Ben's Trumpet

by Rachel Isadora

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Ben's Trumpet is a story about a little boy who loves music and instruments, especially the trumpet. He loves to listen and watch to the musicians at the Jazz Club. Ben can feel the music as he goes home. He starts playing his own imaginary trumpet to his family and outside his house. Even the trumpeter compliments Ben's trumpet. However, one day some kids on the street make fun of Ben for playing an imaginary trumpet. He stops playing and just listens to the music from the Jazz Club, until the trumpeter goes over to Ben. The trumpeter asks where his trumpet is and then brings Ben to the Jazz Club where he gets to play a real one. I love this story because Ben finds something he is passionate about. Rachel Isadora wrote and illustrated the book. The pictures are in black and white only. When each member of the jazz band is described, they get a whole page dedicated to them. We see a closeup of them playing their instrument. Also when Ben is upset and is just sitting on his stoop, we see a bunch of random pictures. I feel this represents all of the thoughts in Ben's mind. When Ben can feel the music, the pictures become a different shape as if they are moving with the music. In Ben's Trumpet, the pictures play a crucial part to the story. ( )
  mamontgomery | Jan 25, 2016 |
Ben grew up across the street from the Zig Zag Jazz Club and listened to the music from the club every evening. Ben would join in and play his imaginary trumpet. Ben admired the musicians at the club, the drummer, the pianist, the saxophonist, the trombonist, but most of all the trumpeter. Constantly playing his imaginary trumpet Ben always feels the rhythm of jazz in his soul. One day, the trumpeter from the club notices Ben playing his imaginary trumpet and even says a few words to him. Ben plays his trumpet for everyone. One day after school Ben is playing his trumpet, the kids in front the candy store start laughing at him because he has no trumpet. Ben was feeling the rhythm. Upset that he was being laughed at Ben heads home embarrassed. Ben still watches the Zig Zag Jazz Club that evening, but this time he isn’t playing along with the musicians. The trumpeter notices that Ben is no longer playing along and walks across the street to talk to him. Ben is invited over to the club and the trumpeter gives Ben his first real experience blowing his horn. I love this book! I think Rachel Isadora’s use of art-deco style images captures the feeling of jazz perfectly. Growing up in a city of jazz, the contrast of black and white that is used really embodies how I picture New Orleans. I can imagine walking through my city and seeing everything in black and white, just like in Isadora’s images in the book. ( )
  CasieBelaire | Oct 17, 2015 |
Ben loves to watch the musicians practice at the Ziig Zag Jazz Club. He thinks everything about them is cool even the way they walk. Ben pretends that he is in the band and walks around playing a imaginary trumpet the neighborhood kids think he is crazy. While Ben is sitting on his stoop one of the band members invites him to come over to club and teaches him how to play a horn.
age:5 -up
Pierce County Library
  nikkiwalker1 | Aug 20, 2015 |
Title: Ben’s Trumpet
Author: Rachel Isadora
Illustrator: Rachel Isadora
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Date of Publication: 1991
Genre: Fiction

Plot Summary:
This story takes place during the jazz stage in American history. It’s about a little boy, Ben, who lives next to a club and he listens to the music every night and dreams of being a trumpet player like the man that plays there. His classmates make fun of him for playing his “air trumpet” and he gets embarrassed and doesn't play anymore. This trumpet player notices the change and asks him where his trumpet went. He then invites him to come practice with him and let him teach Ben how to play the trumpet.
Character Analysis:
Ben-
• Young, seemingly poor boy
• lonely, no friends
• big dreams of being a musician

Trumpet Player-
• middle aged
• very skilled with the trumpet
• kind, takes time with a kid he doesn’t know

Critique:
This book is fiction, but speaks a powerful message. While this story is fiction, it could have been true for any number of musicians during the jazz era. These people were most of time self-taught or taught by a friend to play this type of music. Some speculate that maybe Ben was someone the author knew. Regardless of speculation, this story is deemed fiction and preaches the message of following your dreams even when others don’t believe in you.

Personal Evaluation:
This book is great for children who feel like they don’t have any friends or that their friends are mean to them and make fun of them. Ben had a dream and was determined to make it happen. Even though his friends made fun of him, it paid off because the trumpet player came to talk to him. This is a lesson that all kids need to learn: when someone tells you that you can’t do something, just shake it off and keep walking. ( )
  angelawhite13 | Apr 17, 2015 |
I re-read this after almost 20 years. Loved it then, loved it now. Put on some Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, or Dizzy Gillespie and read the book, then page through it again very slowly, immersing yourself in the detail of the pictures. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:23 -0400)

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Ben wants to be a trumpeter, but plays only an imaginary instrument until one of the musicians in a neighborhood night club discovers his ambition.

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