Little People, Big Dreams: Ella Fitzgerald; Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Barbara Alca
Ella Fitzgerald was one of the most important jazz singers and known as ‘The First Lady of Song’. Ella experienced plenty of lows in her childhood but the girl from Yonkers, New York, was always strong enough to rise back up and was destined to perform, and she would perform on the biggest stages of all.
Ella Fitzgerald grew up in a home filled with music. Her childhood was far from straight forward though; her Mother died and Ella found herself very unhappy living with her aunt. She avoided school and eventually ran away and spent her days trying to make a few dollars by singing and dancing on the streets of Harlem. Her life changed dramatically when she sang at a talent competition and a band leader soon had her travelling all over the country and singing in jazz clubs. Ella’s unique voice was loved by everyone and it wasn’t long before all the greatest jazz stars wanted to perform with her. ‘The First Lady of Song’ had well and truly made it.
Delightfully illustrated with bright and bold artwork and with a story told in short and simple sentences, this is an inspirational read for any young person with big dreams of being a singing superstar. At the back of the the book there is a short overview of her life which includes key facts and dates and a historical timeline featuring photographs.
A definite rags to riches story as the little girl with the difficult childhood went on to become a global singing sensation. As Ella said, “It isn’t where you came from; it’s where you’re going that counts.”
Recommended for 5+.