Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Blue and Red Make Purple: A Musical Journey

Gasoi, Jennifer (Author)
Adams, Steve (Illustrator)
Secret Mountain 2016. 48 pages + 1 CD
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9782924217795 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Anthology

Text Elements:

recurring patterns

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Grammy winner Jennifer Gasoi takes her listeners/readers on a musical journey. Each track features a different style of music, including a Bluegrass song about road trips, a Klezmer song about an animal party and a combination of styles in the final track, “Purple Man.”

Upbeat, catchy songs feature a range of instruments depending on the style of music. Bluegrass presents a fiddle and a banjo, Klezmer a clarinet, calypso has percussion instruments. The lyrics are fun and positive: “And you’ve got to have heart, you’ve got to have hope/If you don’t look at the bright side of life, how are you gonna cope?"

The lyrics are accompanied by vibrant acrylic illustrations. Some are detailed, with close-ups of animals playing the blues or dancing together and the “purple man” in mid-tango. Others are more abstract and feature silhouettes against a radiant orange or pink sky.

The book offers information about each song, including its musical style, history, instruments and inspiration, as well as evocative questions and creative activities. The author’s intimate and enthusiastic voice speaks directly to her audience with an important message: “No matter where you go, or what you do, follow your heart and always be you!”

  •  

    The title mentions colours. Discuss how these might be related to music and musical styles.

  •  

    Choose a song that appeals to you. Make another poem/song in the same style or revise one of the poems in ways that give it new life.

  •  

    Choose a track and listen to the musical genre. Read the note about the track. Try out the quiz questions. Make up your own quiz questions about the song. Test your friends.

  •  

    Search for songs of a genre that appeals to you. Choose a few and research their influences. What songs, musical style or events inspired the artists? Create a poster about the group and their vision.

  •  

    Discuss the musical styles you know. What are the characteristics of these styles? What instruments are used to play them?

  •  

    Choose a track and listen to the musical genre. Read the note about the track. Try out the quiz questions. Make up your own quiz questions about the song. Test your friends.

  •  

    Learn and practise some of the songs, just for fun or to perform in a school concert.

  •  In small groups, choose a style that you like and rewrite the lyrics to create a song about your classroom or school.
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • To use information and communications technologies