Famous Ukulele Musicians

Biographical Stories for Kids

Children - Non-Fiction
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 07/04/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

As a child, I had a special friend who played the ukulele. Everywhere he went, he carried his ukulele and led groups of children and adults in a lively sing-song. When he moved to Yukon, he took his ukulele with him and he was given the name Ukulele Yukon. Because of this special friend, I have always loved the ukulele. But many other musicians have chosen the ukulele as their instrument. In Susan Montgomery’s Famous Ukulele Musicians, we learn about these musicians, including May Singhi Breen, Taimane Gardner, James Hill, Daniel Ho, and several others. Each one has a story to tell that centers around their ukulele and the music they share. Taimane Gardner was known for the beautiful melodies she composed on an instrument she’s played since she was five years old. Eddie Kamae focused his musical talents and his ukulele on preserving the unique sounds of his home, Hawaii.

Susan Montgomery’s picture book, Famous Ukulele Musicians: Biographical Stories for Kids, is a great resource to teach young readers about music and a very special musical instrument, the ukulele. Featuring ten well-known ukulele musicians from around the world, this book has interesting biographical stories that will take young readers on a musical journey. The biographical sketches are concise, providing just enough information to spark a young reader’s interest. Unique watercolor illustrations of the musicians accompany each sketch. The language is simple so young readers can easily follow along and improve their reading skills. At the end of the book, there’s a useful vocabulary list to expand musical knowledge and reading skills. The author also lists interesting musical facts, links to recordings, and a bibliography to inspire further reading. This book is not only a valuable resource for budding musicians, but also an interesting, engaging, and educational read.