All That the Dog Ever Wanted: Media Kit

All That the Dog Ever WantedFor Immediate Release.
Contact: Anna Norman

Jazz isn’t Just for Cool Cats

All That the Dog Ever Wanted (Fields of Gold Publishing, Inc.) is a whimsical, artistic approach at introducing jazz to a young audience. This picture book for children is about a dog named Django who wants to learn to play jazz in order to gain approval from his owner. In the end, Django learns to work within the limitations of canine existence and he eventually discovers how to express himself through his true and natural talent.

Origin of the idea

The idea for the book sparked from a conversation that the author, Amy Neftzger (Pronounced nef-zghur), had with her husband Tyra (a professional jazz musician) about the difficulty of introducing children to the genre. “The book isn’t designed to simply teach kids about jazz. Teaching them is wonderful, but if we can grab their attention with a story or with a song they’re more likely to enjoy what they hear and want to know more about it. Once interest or curiosity is aroused, we can teach more effectively,” Amy explains.

In fact, the book does more than simply entertain; it includes a section after the story called “frequently asked questions.” This part of the book gives a brief history on jazz and explains why jazz is different from other musical forms. It also gives a brief biography of Django Reinhardt, the main character’s namesake.

About the CD

The book is packaged with a CD of 3 jazz tunes designed specifically for the book: one song with vocals and two instrumentals. “We included a CD with this book because we wanted kids to do more than just read about jazz, we wanted them to be able to hear it first hand,” explains Tyra Neftzger, composer and arranger for all three tunes on the CD. “I included one tune that should be familiar to most kids so that they can get a better idea of how jazz is different from other genres. Teachers who talk about jazz in the classroom may find this recording useful for their lessons.”

How is this music designed to appeal to kids?

  1. The first piece, a song titled “So Misunderstood” is written and sung from the perspective of a dog. Be sure to listen to the very end of the piece, which brings this point home nicely.
  2. Two of the three tracks utilize a dobro, an instrument not typically used in jazz. However, composer Tyra Neftzger believes that the sound may appeal to kids because of the popularity of steel guitar in children’s music and cartoon scores. The sound of a steel guitar and dobro are similar.

Tracks on the CD are listed as follows:

1. So Misunderstood 2:39
In the style of Django and the only vocal tune on the CD, this original song is written from the perspective of the dog who feels as if his owner just doesn’t understand or appreciate him. Be sure to listen to the very end of the piece, which brings this point home nicely.

2. Afternoons (Lazy Afternoon) 2:51
Contemporary jazz with a slight Latin feel. An instrumental (also original) tune that scores the life of a dog in the afternoon before the family comes home. Laid back and mellow with brief spurts of activity.

3. Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone 2:07
Traditional jazz style. An instrumental jazz arrangement featuring guitar and dobro that alternates between 3/4 and 4/4 time.

Free Curriculum

Fields of Gold Publishing, Inc. has gone the extra mile in trying to introduce jazz to children: they are providing free classroom curriculum for teachers. On their website at teachers can download lesson plans that include wav samples to help students hear for themselves and understand the concepts of “syncopation” and “improvisation.” Also included on the site are ideas for using jazz in the classroom, even if you don’t play an instrument.

About Fields of Gold Publishing, Inc.

Fields of Gold Publishing, Inc. publishes books, music and CDs. Fields of Gold, Inc. produces a small number of high quality works of art each year. Products from Fields of Gold have been translated into other languages and are distributed in five foreign countries as well as the United States. For more information, go to

Title: All That the Dog Ever Wanted
Author: Amy Neftzger
Illustrator: Amy Neftzger
List Price: $21.99
Publication date: September 28, 2005
Binding: Smyth Sew Case Bind
Companion CD included: So Misunderstood
Subject: Children’s Fiction, Jazz, Dogs
EAN Barcode: 97809746296

About the Artists

Amy Neftzger, the book’s author and illustrator, is also the author of Conversations With the Moon, a collection of short stories available in the U.S. and recently translated into Korean. She has also authored a number of works of non-fiction.

Tyra Neftzger, the composer and arranger of the audio CD that accompanies the book, is a graduate of Berklee College of Music. He has worked in a variety of genres, but identifies jazz as his favorite. His recent collection of jazz instrumentals called “Psalmthing Blue” has received radio air play around the world.

Chas Williams, dobro artist on two of the recordings, is the author of “The Nashville Number System” and has toured and played sessions with many artists in the Nashville area, including Wynonna Judd, David Gates, and Nanci Griffith.