JITTERBUGS! is an exciting picture book that entertains children age 2-10 with its scat rhythm under-tone and fast-moving story about two very different bugs who triumph through their unlikely dance partnership. The story is inspired by real-life 1930s Lindy Hop dancers George Snowden (“Shorty George”) and Beatrice Gay (“Big Bea”) who used their height difference to advantage to win contests at places like the famed Savoy Ballroom in Harlem New York. This dance-along story re-casts George and Bea as adorable and engaging “Jitterbugs” and young readers are prompted to dance along with a few of the bugs’ signature steps. The book is written and illustrated by two Chicago area Teaching Artists who have spent years visiting schools to share their art forms of dance and visual art. They are excited to be collaborating on this book as yet another way to engage children in the arts.
- Celebrates UNIQUENESS
- Engages KINESTHETIC learners in literature
- Promotes active play between PARENT & CHILD
- Encourages self-discovery through the ARTS: visual, music, dance
- Brings AMERICAN HISTORY to life
Enhance your enjoyment and the educational value of JITTERBUGS! with these additional materials:
Classroom Guide – Common Core Lesson Plans with arts integration for K-3 teachers based on JITTERBUGS!
Dance-Along Lesson Page – Book excerpt with “dance-along” instructions.
Promo Video – Learn about the making of JITTERBUGS! and see kids dancing along to the story!
Historical Video – Watch the real Shorty George and Big Bea in this historical film clip from Ask Uncle Sol, 1937
Enjoy these songs from the 1930s, now in the public domain and free to download (source: http://www.jazz-on-line.com/). These are great songs to dance along to when you read JITTERBUGS! To download on a PC, right click on song title and select “save target as” to begin the download.
One O’Clock Jump – Count Basie and His Orchestra, 1937
Shorty George – Count Basie and His Orchestra, 1938