cover image Dan Zanes’ House Party: A Family Roots Music Treasury

Dan Zanes’ House Party: A Family Roots Music Treasury

Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza, illus. by Donald Saaf. Young Voyageur, $24.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-7603-6201-3

Folk musician Zanes collaborates with his wife, jazz vocalist Claudia Eliaza, for a broad-ranging, thematically organized musical anthology of 64 songs from folk traditions. Each song includes its complete verses and simple musical notation, and the end pages offer chord diagrams for guitar and ukulele. Saaf enhances the collection through gentle watercolor art featuring doll-like human and animal figures. In friendly, thoughtful prose, Zanes shares the origins of each song, its meaning, and the traditions from which it arises: “This train song began its life as an African American spiritual and, over the years, has become one of the classic songs used by early-childhood educators.” He also shares personal thoughts about the songs he chooses to sing, as well as the impact of learning their history. Zanes’s compendium is a rich, multicultural celebration of musical roots that invites readers to become music-makers themselves. Ages 8–up. (Dec.)