Birth Of The Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound by Kathleen Cornell Berman, illustrated by Keith Henry Brown

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40 Pages

10.1 × .46 × 11.7 in.

By Kathleen Cornell Berman, illustrated by Keith Henry Brown. Reading Level age: 8 - 11 years

Miles can’t sleep.
Taps his toes,
snaps his fingers,
can’t stop thinking of ways
to make music his own.

As a young musician, Miles Davis heard music everywhere. This biography explores the childhood and early career of a jazz legend as he finds his voice and shapes a new musical sound. Follow his progression from East St. Louis to rural Arkansas, from Julliard and NYC jazz clubs to the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival. Rhythmic free verse imbues his story with musicality and gets readers in the groove. Music teachers and jazz fans will appreciate the beats and details throughout, and Miles’ drive to constantly listen, learn, and create will inspire kids to develop their own voice.

With evocative illustrations, this glimpse into Miles Davis’ life is sure to captivate music lovers young and old.


Keith Henry Brown, debut picture book illustrator, got his start drawing super heroes, but jazz musicians like Miles Davis have always been heroes to him. A graduate of the High School of Art and Design as well as Parsons School of Design, he combined his love of art and jazz as the creative director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has also designed and illustrated promotional graphics and jazz album covers. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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