Mister and Lady Day: Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved Her

Amy Novesky, Author, Vanessa Newton, Author, Vanessa Brantley Newton, Illustrator
Amy Novesky, illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Harcourt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-15-205806-7
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This biography of Billie Holiday (1915–1959) is as much a study of her dogs as of the singer. And there were a lot of them. “The Chihuahuas, Chiquita and Pepe, she fed with a baby bottle,” writes Novesky. “There was the Great Dane named Gypsy and the wire-haired terrier Bessie Mae Moocho,” and more. Lady Day’s favorite was her boxer, Mister, and this story’s drama centers around whether Mister will be there for Holiday after “she had to leave home for a year and a day” (endnotes explain that this was due to a conviction for drug possession). Newton’s illustrations neatly incorporate sheet music, photographic elements, and period ephemera, and both text and art capture the sweet bond between Holiday and her beloved animals. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (June)
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