Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured titles, special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Subscribe to receive special offers, monthly books suggestions, seasonal selections, and more!

The Jazz Fly
The Jazz Fly

The Jazz Fly

By Matthew Gollub, Illustrated by Karen Hanke


Jazz Fly series


32 Pages, 10.25 x 8.25

Formats: Hardcover and CD

Hardcover and CD, $18.95 (US $18.95) (CA $24.95)

Publication Date: January 2000

ISBN 9781889910178

Rights: US & CA

Tortuga Press (Jan 2000)

Price: $18.95


This Indie Next #1 Recommended book, and Benjamin Franklin Book Award winner, celebrates language and the inventive spirit of jazz: “ZA-baza, BOO-zaba, ZEE-za RO-ni!” The book includes the author’s MUST HEAR narration accompanied by his jazz quartet. To listen as you read along (highly recommended), use the QR code, FREE audio download or traditional CD. All 3 listening options come with the book! As the story begins, the fly, who speaks jazz, asks different critters which way to town. "Rrribit," replies the frog. "Oink," says the hog. Although baffled, the fly hears music in their words, and that evening he uses the animal sounds to set the insect dinner club a hoppin.' The computer enhanced artwork of Karen Hanke perfectly complements the text and audio. Get ready to tap, snap, and swing to the beat as Nancy the Gnat, Willie the Worm, and Sammy the Centipede take the stage. Here's a combination of storytelling, visual art, and music for children to savor time and again. Since publication, the story has been performed by professionals and by children on three continents! Writer's Digest National Self-Published Book Award Winner * Smithsonian's Notable Books for Children * California Department of Education Suggested Reading * San Francisco Chronicle Editors' Picks * performed by Classics for Kids and by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Jazz Quartet.


"This story portrays jazz as freedom to experiment with sounds and to think creatively. Beautifully illustrated, and with a great CD, this gets our vote for the best new book for children of all ages!" —Children’s Book Sense 76, the newsletter of independent booksellers nationwide

"Jazz Fly sits down at his drums and begins to play, incorporating the animal sounds into his music to great audience response." —Booklist

"The rhyming text includes scat refrains like “ZA-baza, BOO-zaba, ZEE-zah RO-ni” that just beg to be read aloud…The illustrations and book design give the whole enterprise the feel of jazz, even without musical accompaniment. The accompanying CD is delightful. Gollub narrates with a jazzy beat, and the danceable music perfectly accentuates the story. Children will love hearing this book read aloud and imitating the animal sounds and other refrains. A natural for storytimes." —School Library Journal

"The art of improvisation, exuberantly explicated, introduces the American musical form." —Smithsonian’s Notable Books for Children

"An accessible introduction to jazz quartets, scatting and improvisation. It’s a cool package." —San Francisco Chronicle Editors’ Picks

Author Biography

Matthew Gollub is a nationally known children's author, speaker and performer. He has created 20 picture books which together have garnered dozens of national awards and distinctions. His musical narrations accompany some of his most popular books including The Jazz Fly series. A dynamic drummer and bilingual presenter, he has also performed at over 1,000 elementary schools around the U.S. and abroad, inspiring students and families to read for fun. He lives with his family in Santa Rosa, CA.


Writer’s Digest National Self-Published Book Award
America’s #1 Recommended Children’s Book -Children’s Book Sense 76
Benjamin Franklin Award for children’s book/audio book
Smithsonian’s Notable Books for Children
California Department of Education Suggested Reading
San Francisco Chronicle Editors’ Picks
Featured on “West Coast Live” and major jazz radio stations