This week’s KidLit Pick of the Week is SPOOKY SECOND LINE BY JOHNETTE DOWNING- A LOCAL LOUISIANA AUTHOR.
Readers will travel through New Orleans with a spooky second line that plays jazzy tunes on Halloween. As a mummy is transported down the street in a silver casket, a spooky parade follows, with a witch on bass drum, a skeleton on snare, a black cat on trombone, a jack-o-lantern on clarinet, and more. An author's note explains the local tradition of second lines and jazz funerals. This is a highly entertaining book perfect for Halloween.
The author’s lyrical cut-paper collage illustrations and witty wordplay make this a charming read for your little ghost and goblins at home. Downing makes you feel like you are inside of the story and whisked away on an adventure in every book.
■ Perfect for ages 3-8.
■ Brings a bit of history to the reading.
■ Author’s Note describes “first lines” and “second lines” within New Orleans culture.
o Jazz funeral consists of a casket carried in a horse drawn carriage and a brass band followed by a parade of mourners and community members.
o The first line is the parade of mourners marching to the cemetery. It is a parade with handkerchiefs to wipe away tears.
o The second line is a parade leading away from the cemetery. Handkerchiefs are now used to wave the beat of the music and decorated umbrellas are used to accent the rhythms of the band and movements of the dancers.
o Second lines are also used in many joyful occasions like weddings to show the “joy of living”.
Johnette Downing is an award-winning and internationally recognized singer and songwriter. Her many accolades include eight Parents' Choice Awards, four iParenting Media Awards, and five National Parenting Publication Awards. She wrote and/or illustrated There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs, Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud, How to Dress a Po' Boy, Why the Oyster Has the Pearl, Why the Possum Has a Large Grin, Macarooned on a Dessert Island, The Fifolet, and other titles. Downing lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.