Mama Got Rhythm and Daddy Got Rhyme, by Robin Wilson, was first published in 2009 and re-released last year. It has stunning illustrations by Mario Moore, a now-famous artist.
Robin Wilson recalls a musically rich environment in her childhood home. Her mother sang, and her father had a basement recording studio. The house was filled with the music of the Marvelettes, Stevie Wonder, and other Motown greats because it was the Motown era. She also claims that the house was frequently filled with jazz.
Mama Got Rhythm and Daddy Got Rhyme was written by Wilson to introduce young people to jazz and its influence.
“There’s a lot of study that I performed in the script to incorporate historical references,” Wilson explains. “As a result… young readers will have a better understanding of how jazz relates to the music they listen to today.”
The book was first published in 2009, but it was just re-released. It has stunning illustrations by Mario Moore, a now-famous artist.
When Moore was a student at the College for Creative Studies, Wilson says she snatched him up for the project.
“He hadn’t yet established himself as the household name that he is now. “I’m incredibly proud of him now that he’s graduated from Yale,” Wilson says. “It’s an honor to be able to claim that he created the artwork for my book, because he’s done some incredible things since then.”
Wilson teaches French at the Detroit Center for Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies. When she teaches, she claims to use music as a teaching tool. When her book was published, she recognized an opportunity to introduce jazz to the pupils.
“They say, ‘We don’t like jazz,’ when I play some of the older oldies.” ‘Well, you guys were just jamming to Trombone Shorty, and that is jazz,’ I remarked. “It’s all right. Because at the very least, they can claim to have heard it, to have been exposed to it.”
“And it’s my goal that they’ll continue to dabble in jazz in some fashion… Even the younger age, I believe, may find something they appreciate.”