Jazz on a Saturday Night



Kids will groove to this toe-tapping treasure.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will be drawn in by this exciting rhyming introduction to "America's classical music" and its pioneers. Notes and a CD are included to help readers get started on their journey into sound and rhythm.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

On one fictional Saturday night, eight great jazz musicians get together for an evening of be-bopping magic. Each one, from Miles Davis to Ella Fitzgerald, in his or her turn, jumps in to the mix, and before long the whole room is feeling the beat.

Is it any good?


Inspired by their life-long love of jazz, illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon have put together their dream team of musicians to create "an evening of jazz immortality." In be-bopping language and poster-like illustrations, they capture the excitement and energy that such a session might create. Anyone new to the jazz form, or even the veteran, is sure to catch their enthusiasm.

In a perfectly balanced collage of sound and sight, jazz comes alive in award-winning artwork. Painted in what might be called a graphic style, some scenes focus on the musicians themselves, who with eyes closed, seem to be playing or singing from the soul. Others show an audience whose members are jumping, jiving, and otherwise pulled into the captivating music that flows around them like "a river of melody sketched in dim light." Everyone is having a good time, and the reader will, too. True to form, the Dillons have created another masterpiece to join the other award-winning books in their oeuvre.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about jazz as an art form, the various instruments played, and the eight jazz pioneers, all of whom play together on one magical night in this book. Once they have read the book a couple of times, readers can listen to the CD that will give sound and further explanation to what they have read. They might talk about the instruments they like best, which one they might like to play, or at least learn more about.

Book details

Author:Leo & Diane Dillon
Illustrators:Diane Dillon, Leo Dillon
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Blue Sky Press
Publication date:September 7, 2007
Number of pages:40
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6
Award:Coretta Scott King Medal and Honors

This review of Jazz on a Saturday Night was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byFAMILIES-SCHOOLS June 5, 2010


At this age children begin to identify images but if we use them to foster positive sharing, more likely others will agree because at the age of 3 based on research studies, a child's reaction to things are already remembered by them. The word is mold and create a child by consistency of the right mix. Music if you read the lyrics carefully is the key to communication in a child's world. Teens also go through the same feelings and need that attention. In doing this like treating them like a friend and not a demanding or boastful parent of their own children it is better to allow children FREEDOM of personal space which many of them desire these days. Just monitor them without being so obvious.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Special Needs Guide