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*Ruby Sings the Blues* by Niki Daly
Ruby Sings the Blues
by Niki Daly
Ages 4-8 32 pages Bloomsbury USA May 2005 Hardcover    
Ruby is loud…very loud
When she hollered down the street,
The man on the top floor yelled,
Keep it down, Loud-mouth ! I’m trying to sleep. (pg 6)
Ruby’s parents ask her to lower her volume. Her teacher points to the buttons on Ruby’s shirt and kindly asks her to pretend they are her “off” and “on” and volume control buttons. The children at school don’t want to play with her because she’s so loud. She walks home from school feeling bad: she has the blues.

Some of Ruby’s neighbors , a jazz singer and a sax player, come to check on her because they haven’t heard her lately. They offer to teach her to sing, and with her mother’s blessing, she begins taking singing lessons after school every day.

Zelda, her instructor, teaches her to sing sharp, zooming notes and gentle, breathy notes. Zelda also teaches Ruby how to sing with feeling. When her neighbors began to hear her sing, they think, oh, what a beautiful voice! And at the school concert, she is awesome. Now, sometimes when least expected, she cranks the volume up when she gets home from school.

Ruby Sings the Blues is a touching story enhanced by the artwork which can best be described as artsy, original, and beatnik. The characters are caricatures; some of the illustrations are quite humorous and should keep children’s attention and entertain them as well.

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  Brenda A. Snodgrass/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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