On January 22, Turn The Page, a literacy project in New Orleans, held a book-reading session that involved 451 children and The Bourbon Street Band is Back, a rhyming book that Shankman created with Montclair-based illustrator Dave O’Neill. The event, hosted by Grammy winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, kicked off an effort by the New Orleans Public Library Foundation to make New Orleans the most literate city in America by its 300th birthday in 2018.
“The book basically asks the question, what would New Orleans be like if the music stopped,” Shankman told us in January. “In order to explore this, we actually have the music stop one day and New Orleans, for a time, becomes a sad, stark shadow of its former self. Of course, in the end, our 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 city has never seen.”