Picture Books

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Daly, Niki

Ruby Sings the Blues

Illustrated by Daly. Cape Town, South Africa: Songololo Books, 2005 / London: Frances Lincoln, 2005. No pag. ISBN 1-919888-19-5. Ages 8-10.

Language: English

Publisher: Songololo Books

This picture book features a city child whose voice is too loud. When Ruby calls out greetings outside her home or asks questions at school, listeners are deafened. But the saxophone player and jazz singer in the basement think her voice is awesome, so they teach her how to train and control it. Soon Ruby is singing the blues and charming her world. The text is a musical delight, especially when read aloud.

Niki Daly, an internationally acclaimed illustrator, uses a cartoon-style technique for this joyous book, making the characters leap off the page (as does Ruby’s voice). The universal qualities of the story will appeal to city children worldwide. There is much humour to explore in the background details of the city and in the designs on the dresses. Daly’s illustrations have featured in a number of IBBY Honour Book collections, and he was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2002 and 2004.


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