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Bring Some Diversity Into Your Child's Life

Review by Lauren S. Smith

If you're wondering what you can give a child that will make the most positive difference in his or her life, you can begin by giving a gift that will teach them diversity. Matthew Gollub has been writing children's books for years and each one teaches how life is different for each and every one of us. Some of his books have become classics and The Jazz Fly 2, The Jungle Pachanga is destined for that same path.

Matthew Gollub's book comes with its own audio CD that lets your child listen to the story including a variety of sounds such as percussion, piano, bongos and saxophone. The music is irresistible to children ages four and up and you'll delight when you see your child wiggle, jump and dance along with the creative songs.

The story is narrated by Gollub himself and written in English. It is also peppered with Spanish phrases that make the Latin jazz music come to life - along with the little insects featured in the book.

Jazz Fly 2 is the long awaited sequel to The Jazz Fly. In Gollub's newest offering, the fly and his band need a ride to a tropical "pachanga" (dance party), but are very much aware of the dangers lurking just outside.

The fly must find the correct Spanish words to chant for the spider monkey, macaw and sloth before they will help him get to the Pachanga safely. It's a rollicking story that your children will love and want to play or read over and over again.

If your child decides to read the book and leaf through the pages, he or she will delight in the colorful illustrations and clever characters. They'll see new words in Spanish and crazy words such as "Skiddily Bop!" as they read along.

It's somewhat odd to have a sequel to a child's book, but Gollub thought it was called for when he began to receive requests for one. The original Jazz Fly book - which also comes with an audio CD - has been a best seller and many wrote that it was their favorite children's book.

Gollub came up with a way to write the sequel in a way that would expand his young readers' musical horizons and reading abilities. The original Jazz Fly introduced "scat" language and be-bop jazz, so Gollub decided to add some Spanish words and Latin jazz to the new book.

The result, The Jazz Fly 2, The Jungle Pachanga, is a delightful read and a cleverly put together story that kids from 4 to 94 will love. Matthew Gollub is witty and original and keeps on producing a product that rises above the last. The book is a well-deserved winner of the International Book Awards.

Lauren Smith is editor for the Virtual Book Review Network - reviews books by well known bestselling authors and books by soon to be recognized names. For more information, visit: This review covers Jazz Fly 2 by Matthew Gollub.

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