John Coltrane picture book Introduces kids to jazz icon

A new book for children on John Coltrane was released last week (click here to buy). Here is the press release:

Sometimes, when you lose almost everything as a child, a lifeline appears that restores your faith and re-ignites your spirit. For John Coltrane, that lifeline was the saxophone, and the musical dreams it inspired. Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)—written by NY Times-bestselling author Gary Golio (JIMI: Sounds Like A Rainbow) and illustrated by award-winning artist Rudy Gutierrez—captures John’s struggle from lost boy to musical leader, from darkness to light. In words and images that reflect the depth of John’s joy as well as his yearning for inner peace, Spirit Seeker tells the story of how art and spirituality shaped one man’s talents, and gave him the courage to share those gifts with the world.

Drawn along by saxophone greats like Lester Young and Johnny Hodges, John’s life changed overnight when he first heard bebop master Charlie Bird Parker. Still, the sadness that had clung to him since childhood—and his father’s death—led to drinking and drug use that finally brought his early success to a standstill. In a moment of great courage, John remembered the words of his grandfather, Reverend Blair, and cleansed his body of the deadly habits weighing him down. Following a spiritual revelation, he set free his enormous talent to soar like an angel of sound. With the creation of his masterpiece A Love Supreme, he offered a timeless gift of gratitude to the Divine.

For young people, Spirit Seeker highlights the importance of goals and aspirations—particularly in the face of personal adversities—and showcases the value of the Arts in providing a guide or roadmap for the future. Golio’s sensitive, poetic text and Gutierrez’ intricate, expressive paintings portray Coltrane as the multifaceted musical genius he was, infusing his music with a new understanding of God and Spirit that should spark fresh thinking in young minds.

Gary Golio has been interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition and the Michael Eric Dyson show, and featured on CBS-TV in New York City. He is the author of JIMI: Sounds Like A Rainbow – A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and When Bob Met Woody – The Story of the Young Bob Dylan (Little, Brown). Golio is a clinical social worker/psychotherapist who helps children, teens, and their families deal with the multifaceted problems of addiction, a subject addressed in an Author’s Note about musicians and drug use. He lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife, author Susanna Reich, and is available for interviews. Visit him online at

Spirit Seeker illustrator Rudy Gutierrez’ art graces the cover of Carlos Santana’s “Shaman” CD, and has been featured in Rolling Stone, The NY Times, and Ms. He has been awarded the Distinguished Educator Award from the American Society of Illustrators, and a Pura Bel Pre Illustrator Award. See his children’s book art at



Spirit Seeker – John Coltrane’s Musical Journey

Written by Gary Golio

Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez

Published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

October 2012 • Ages 9 & up • 48 pages • $17.99 hardcover • ISBN 13: 978-0547239941

Related Posts:

Author Derrick Bang digs deeper into the music of Vince Guaraldi in new book

9 Replies to “John Coltrane picture book Introduces kids to jazz icon”

  1. Loved the story and love your site. I am hoping that I got through to you via Facebook, as I would like to get your postings regularly.

  2. Plumbing issues can be astonishingly pricey, but most people don’t take the time to try and study about their plumbing system until it is too late.
    The waste from such Porta Johns has also to be considered while
    deciding its eco-friendliness. A veteran plumber already has the knowledge,
    training, practice, experience, equipment.

  3. tsalapeteinos: Αδελφέ μου τα σχολεία ανοίγουν τη Δευτέρα, μη μου φορτώνεις μελέτη το τελευταίο Σαββατοκύριακο των διακοπών. Καλά- καλά, έχεις δίκαιο. Θα στρωθώ γιατί όλο το καλοκαίρι τεμπέλιαζα. Πάω στο λινκ και αρχίζω τη μελέτη: The ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 atackts on the United States should serve as a moment to reflect on tolerance. It should be a day of peace. Yet the rising anti-Muslim fervor here, together with the continuing U.S. military occupation of Iraq and the escalating war in Afghanistan (and Pakistan), all fuel the belief that the U.S. really is at war with Islam. Το βλέπεις; Άρχισα αμέσως…

  4. I enjoyed the report and suppose you’ve got more such stuff?
    If yes, so please post it because it is somewhat uncommon for me in the current instant, and not only
    for me personally, that is my view.

  5. The quantity of sources you experienced to write this piece must possess been sky-high.
    That’s so unusual nowadays, to have a person research the matter well and supply it in a good understandable way.
    I through the only folks who accomplish that was But now I have a
    bot more trust in the online community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *