Publishers Weekly Review
Despite the title, Hancocks's story largely revolves around the friendship that developed between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. Touring the U.S. with her band, Fitzgerald was denied the opportunity to perform at a Hollywood nightclub ("Ella was black, and some folks didn't want her singing in their club"). Monroe to the rescue: "If she plays, I will sit at the front every night for all the people and paparazzi to see," she tells the club manager. The history surrounding Fitzgerald being turned away from the club, and whether it had to do with her race, isn't entirely certain; light on details and featuring invented dialogue, Hancocks's account doesn't add any real clarity. Splashy graphics do a fine job of evoking 1950s glamour, but the book is more a warm portrait of two famous women helping each other out than a source of much information about either star. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
K-Gr 2-This bold picture book chronicles Ella Fitzgerald's early rise to stardom and centers on her friendship with Marilyn Monroe. The value of camaraderie and the determination of these two women are the running themes in this narrative. Hancocks explores how their relationship was beneficial for both parties; Monroe opening doors for Fitzgerald to sing at clubs, and Fitzgerald training Monroe to sing in movies. The gouache illustrations are bright with patterns that evoke the stylized advertising posters of the 1950s. Language reminiscent of the period ("the biggest joint in town") is peppered throughout, though it is often exceedingly vague ("some folks didn't want her singing in their club"). A biographical summary of Fitzgerald's and Monroe's lives is presented at the end of the book with a photograph of them together. VERDICT Part biography, part exaltation of the power of friendship, this title should do well in most collections.-Jessica Cline, New York Public Library © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.