Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Parent & Afterschool Resources

ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.



HomeParent & Afterschool ResourcesPodcast Episodes

Podcast Podcast

Episode 16 — Books With a Playlist


E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

Listen Now

Grades K – 5
Podcast Series Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
See all episodes in this series

iTunes Subscription
Duration 13:53
Original Air Date Published July 09, 2009

Book Chat

Cookies and Milk

Expert Chat


Book Chat

  • Grandma's Records written and illustrated by Eric Velasquez (Walker & Company, 2001)

    "Sometimes a song can say everything that is in your heart as if it was written just for you." In this story Velasquez tells his own childhood story: of summers in El Barrio with his grandma. The thing that stands out in Velasquez's story is his grandma's love of music and of one song in particular that made her stop and put her hand over her heart. When Velasquez and his grandma get to actually see one of her favorite bands perform, Velasquez understands his grandma's special song even more.

  • The Sound that Jazz Makes written by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Eric Velasquez (Walker & Company, 2000)

    In a simple patterned rhyme Weatherford tells the story of jazz from its birth in Africa to its growth and evidence in modern day music. See how the joy, sorrow, oppression, freedom, and praise worked together to become the sound that jazz makes. Velasquez's illustrations bring Weatherford's writing to life and match her simple yet powerful words perfectly.

  • The Piano Man written by Debbi Chocolate; illustrated by Eric Velasquez (Walker & Company, 1998)

    Similar in theme to Velasquez's narrative in Grandma's Records, Debbi Chocolate shares the story of her grandfather who played piano. Her grandfather, who learned from masters of ragtime such as Jelly Roll Morton and Scott Joplin, played on Broadway, in vaudeville shows, and for silent movies. When movies with sound came out, her grandfather found that he was no longer needed at the theater. But a special gift from his daughter on his 57th birthday helps him relive his silent movie glory days.

  • David Gets His Drum written by David "Panama" Francis and Bob Reiser; illustrated by Eric Velasquez (Marshall Cavendish, 2002)

    This is the story of legendary jazz musician David "Panama" Francis. From the time that David Francis was a boy he knew what he wanted to do-be a drummer just like famous "Brulla" Roberts. The problem was that he didn't have a drum and no matter what he tried (knives, spoons, or his mother's kitchen chair), he couldn't get the right sound. One special day Brulla visits David and passes on his "magic drum" to David. Brulla also leaves David with the advice that "drummer man's magic doesn't come from the drum. The magic comes from the drummer man."

    Eric Velasquez's website

Cookies and Milk

Emily provides the cookies and milk. Kosi and Kenyan provide the jazz. All three work together on the ReadWriteThink activity Send Postcards From the Concert.

Expert Chat

Author and illustrator Eric Velasquez discusses how music has influenced his work, gives the scoop on his grandma who was the main character in Grandma's Records, and shares how his relationship with his grandma continues to inspire him today.