Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review & Interview: Journey To Jazzland by Gia Volterra de Saulnier

About The Author:

Born and raised in Fairhaven, Massachusetts and attended University of Lowell (now University of Massachusetts, Lowell). It was there that I learned to love jazz. I have been performing jazz and other kinds of music for over 20 years, throughout the New England area. I live in North Reading, Massachusetts with my husband Richard, and my son Charlie.

BWB: Many authors relate their characters to people they know. Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them? 
Well, most of the characters of this book are instruments, but yes, the main character Windy is a reflection of myself since I am a flute player, and since the Flute is a Wind instrument, I decided that Windy would be a good name. Also, she has a lot of curiosity about jazz and I was a lot like that too.

BWB: Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?
Oh so many to choose from, but for picture books, I would have to say Max from “Where the Wild Things Are” and for older books, I really love “Harry Potter” series. However, when I was growing up, my top favorite character has to be Sherlock Holmes.

BWB: If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters? 
I think I would want to keep it animated like the book, but I can totally see like Della Reese playing “Ebony Piano” and possibly Geena Davis playing “Windy Flute” – one can dream right?

BWB: Where can readers connect with you? 
I’m on Facebook with my fan page at and I’m on Google + and Twitter under @giazzpet

BWB: Everyone wants to know the story behind the story...What's your story? 
This story is based on my learning of how to play jazz. In College, I was told that Flutes don’t play jazz, so I did it anyway. I think it takes a lot of chutzpah to just do what you want, sometimes you just have to take those risks in order to do what you love.

BWB: What is an absolute must-have when writing? 
Pen, Paper and sometimes my computer helps, but tea is nice too.

BWB: Using the letters in the word SUMMER, describe your book. 
Oh I love a challenge: S: Smart, U: Unique, M: MUSIC M: Magical, E: Educational and R: Really cute!

BWB: What message do you hope readers will take away from your book? 
My main goal here is to get music back into Elementary schools and bring back the idea of Jazz to kids. I want parents and grandparents to remember this great period of music that should not be forgotten from our history.

BWB: What can we expect in the future from Gia Volterra de Saulnier? 
Friends are already asking for a sequel. I do have one or two more ideas in my head, but I do want to keep a musical theme going here. Maybe “Journey to DixieLand” and “Boogie on Down to BluesTown” is also in my head.

Genre: Children's Book
Publisher: Flying Turtle Publishing
Release Date: July 1, 2013

Book Description:

Join Windy Flute, Spitz Trumpet and their friends as they travel to a legendary place where music is joyous, creative and free.

My Review:

Journey To Jazzland is a very cute read. If you still have kids at that age that you are reading them stories or they are just beginning to read, then this is a book that you will want to put in your library.

Windy Flute finds herself wanting to play different notes than what the conductor wants her to. When he asks her is she thinks she's in Jazzland, she sets off on a journey to find this magical place. Along the way she finds other instruments that also want to take this journey with her, and by the end, we find that beautiful music can be formed when they all play together.

This sends a great message to kids that they can do anything they put their minds too and it's okay to think outside the box, and my favorite, to be a leader not a follower. Ms. Volterra de Saulnier did such an amazing job with this story, and I have to say that the illustrations and colors are just fantastic.

This is a definite must-have read to add to your shelf and it's a fantastic read with a fantastic message.


One day during an orchestra rehearsal, Windy Flute was playing a piece of music and her mind started to wander. Over and over, she had practiced this piece and played this piece. Feeling bored, she felt that she wanted to be a little different.
Then something special happened. She began to hear notes that weren’t on the page of sheet music on her stand! When she started playing what she heard, Windy realized these new notes made her feel better. The harmonies and the melodies were the same, but the music moved differently. Before she could figure things out, she was interrupted by a stern voice.
Excuse me, Ms. Flute, do you mind playing with the rest of us? Where do you think you are — Jazzland?” said Mr. Conductor, scowling down at her.
After the rehearsal, Mr. Conductor gave Windy a severe look and stomped off the stage.
Windy turned to her friends in the woodwind section. “What’s Jazzland?” she asked. She was still thinking about the good feelings she got from playing different notes.
It’s a myth,” said Mr. Bassoon.
That’s right,” said Mr. Oboe, “It’s a legend. It doesn’t really exist.”
            “I think it exists,” said Spitz Trumpet.


  1. Excellent interview & review! Thanks for hosting :)

  2. Oh wow, thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it!

  3. What an awesome review! It sounds like a fantastic fun read:O) I wish the author the best with her release:O)