Bing, Bop, Bam: Time to Jam is the latest collaboration of Valerie Bolling and Sabrina Khadija, and it will surely make your heart sing. The duo creates a colorful community of diverse instruments, people, food, and fun. Readers follow an intergenerational group of musicians and music lovers as they plan, decorate, and participate in the “neighborhood jam!”
Bolling’s signature rhyming couplets become a soaring sing-along to little listeners' ears. Meanwhile, Khadija’s bold, geometric illustrations create rivers of rhythm that all eyes are sure to follow.
This book was put to the test by my three-year-old picky reader, and it passed with flying colors. Whether it was finding the red balloons shaped like hearts, taking a slight online detour to listen to the sound of an erhu, or belting "Applaud, bow. Encore! WOW!" He quickly deemed it a repeat read along with its companion book Ride, Roll, Run: Time for Fun.
Bing, Bop, Bam, and Valerie Bolling's debut picture book Let's Dance makes the perfect musical pairing. While one showcases instruments from around the world, the other presents dances from across the globe. Together, they are a testament to the magic of music and movement. And they deserve a special place in pre-schools, primary grade music rooms, or wherever we gather to be seen and heard.
Bing, Bop, Bam Time to Jam! Makes Me Think About:
Babatunde Olatunji: Nigerian drummer, activist, educator, and graduate of Morehouse College whose 1959 album Drums of Passion introduced many Americans to world music.
The Pan-African Connection Bookstore and Art Gallery in Dallas, TX: The Sunday afternoon drum circle is North Texas' weekly “neighborhood jam!”
Ms. Meg, Ms. Courtney, and Ms. Hannah: Instructors with the Music Together program my son has attended over the years. Each of them contributed to his growth in such a meaningful way.
A quote from Tony-award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad: "Before a child speaks, it sings. Before they write, they paint. As soon as they stand, they dance. Art is the basis of human expression."
Go pick up this book today and see what it makes you and your little readers think about!
Brentom Jackson is an award winning poet/writer, actor and psychotherapist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. With poetic voice, theatrical flair, and socio-emotional expertise Brentom tells stories that explore the universal lessons within Black-American history and heritage. His debut picture book Elijah's Easter Suit with Doubleday/Penguin Random House is available for pre-order now. Follow him on all social media @brentomjackson. www.brentomjackson.com
By Melissa Stoller
We are celebrating Thanksgiving this month where I live in New York City. So it’s a great time to be mindful and write about what we are thankful for.
Here are a few seasonal prompts to help you incorporate gratitude into your writing life this November:
1. Write about a time you were thankful for a meal, an event, or a celebration. Imagine the scents of the food and the spirit of the occasion. Include several of your senses in your descriptions if possible.
2. Craft a scene about a childhood memory surrounding Thanksgiving or another fall holiday. Incorporate details such as the people present, any dialogue you remember, and any seasonal decor.
3. Think about a time you were grateful for the actions of another person. What were the circumstances surrounding those actions? How did that make you feel? Try to capture these moments in story titles or scenes.
4. Imagine how you can feel grateful and also spread kindness during this season and beyond. What would that look like? Write a story based on these images.
I hope these gratitude-related prompts help you nudge into November ideas. Let me know in the comments!
Melissa Stoller writes to bring connection, joy, and a bit of magic to her readers. Her newest picture book, Hazel and Mabel: Two Hearts Apart, illustrated by Anita Bagdi, releases from Gnome Road Publishing in Fall 2025. Melissa is also the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island, and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush; Ready, Set, GOrilla!; Sadie’s Shabbat Stories; Planting Friendship: Peace, Salaam, Shalom; and Building Bridges: Peace, Salaam, Shalom (co-written). Melissa is a Blogger for the Children’s Book Academy, a Rate Your Story Judge, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, a Book Meshuggenahs member, a Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Advisory Council member, and a past school and Synagogue Trustee. She also interviews authors and offers resources on her blog. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer/editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and Central Park walks. Melissa is represented by Jonathan Rosen at The Seymour Agency.
CONNECT WITH MELISSA:
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature our new blogger coming soon.
4th Mondays features new blogger, the fabulous Brentom Jackson, who has a beautiful approach to blogging.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break