If I Only Had a Horn (Paperback)

Young Louis Armstrong

By Leonard Jenkins (Illustrator), Roxane Orgill

Houghton Mifflin, 9780618250769, 32pp.

Publication Date: August 25, 2002



Roxane Orgill’s vivid words and Leonard Jenkins’s dramatic pictures combine to tell the story of a boy who grew up to be a giant of jazzthe legendary and beloved Louis Armstrong. As a poor boy in New Orleans, where music was everywheredancing out of doorways, singing on street corners, crying from the cornet of the great Joe Oliver for all to hearLouis longed for a horn so that he too could sing, bring home pennies, and, most of all, tap happy-feet blues till the sun rose. It wasn’t going to be easy. Many things, not all of them good, had to happen before he got his horn. But when at last he did, he sent music spiraling up into the New Orleans night sky like a spinning top gone crazy.

Praise For If I Only Had a Horn: Young Louis Armstrong

"Orgill tells the story of a boy overcoming incredible odds to achieve his dream, without becoming too dark, maudlin or even overly hopeful, and Jenkins's dark palette looks the way jazz sounds." Publishers Weekly, Starred