Turn the Page is a collaborative effort to make New Orleans the most literate city in America by 2018. The Turn the Page campaign will kick off Wednesday, January 22, with a celebration of the sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans with music and a reading of The Bourbon Street Band is Back by Verona author Ed Shankman and Montclair illustrator Dave O’Neill. Celebrities will read the book while a jazz band plays behind. 500 kids will attend from all 11 Parishes south of Baton Rouge.
The team of Shankman and O’Neill have published seven books, including The Bourbon Street Band is Back. All of their books — I Met a Moose in Maine One Day, The Boston Balloonies, Champ and Me by the Maple Tree (Vermont), The Cods of Cape Cod, and, most recently, My Grandma Lives in Florida — take place in a particular location.
“When our publisher, Applewood Books, suggested a book based in New Orleans, I was thrilled because I am a musician with a deep love of music, and because New Orleans is a national treasure, rich in culture, especially musical culture,” says Shankman.
The Bourbon Street Band is Back asks the question: What would New Orleans be without the music? In it the music stops one day and New Orleans becomes a sad, stark shadow of its former self. In the end, the heroes — Bobcat Bob and his Bourbon Street Band — come back and bring the the city back to life with a musical extravaganza the likes of which the people have never seen.
Like all of Shankman and O’Neill books, The Bourbon Street Band is Back is written in whimsical rhymes and rhythms with dazzling illustrations.