About the Author


Jeff Cortazzo

“What do you get when you combine an accordion-playing electrical engineer dad with an oil-painting can’t-make-a-bad-pie-if-she-tried mom? Me! A cartoon-drawing bass trombonist who composes music and is a cruel pie critic.”


Jeff Cortazzo
Jeff Cortazzo, bass trombone, photo by US Army

Jeff Cortazzo has been drawing cartoons ever since he can remember and published a daily internet cartoon from 1999-2003 called Not Quite Right. He has drawn fill art for pamphlets, textbooks and cookbooks in addition to tiny caricatures of orchestra conductors (that often make his trombone section friends spit out their coffee).

Jeff earned his DMA in Music Composition at The Catholic University of America. Over the past  20 years, his original composition commissions have included works for trombone quartet, brass quintet, wind quintet, large trombone ensemble, wind ensemble, orchestra and chorus.  From 1992 until his retirement in 2018, Jeff served his country as bass trombonist of The Army Blues, a component of The U.S. Army Band, Pershing’s Own in Washington D.C. During his time in the Army band, Jeff was inspired to write for the unique sonic capabilities of the wind quintet — a diverse ensemble of instruments that includes flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and french horn. These instruments are the personification of the five birds in this book.

Jeff currently plays bass trombone with The National Philharmonic, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, The Capitol Bones and The Washington Symphonic Brass. He is adjunct professor of bass trombone at The Catholic University of America and The Shenandoah Conservatory. When not restocking the myriad bird feeders in his backyard he is at the beck and call of his beloved and demanding furry pets.

Browse Jeff’s published compositions available at BRSMusic.net.
Eccentric Music and Art LLC logo


Well, What Did You Think?

Jeff Cortazzo would love to read your reviews on
The Five Birds and the Cat Queen!


Average Rating: 5.0 stars (based on 19 ratings)

Perfect Read

The Five Birds and the Cat Queen is truly captivating! The vibrant illustrations, engaging plot with a twist, and the important moral message make it a perfect read for children.

Aleena A.

Stunning illustrations

The stunning illustrations and vibrant colors captivate young readers, while the plot with its twist ending delivers an important moral message. The book’s appropriate wording and rhyming words enhance vocabulary development. The narrated version on Amazon Music showcases the author’s musical prowess and creates an immersive experience. With no flaws or errors, this meticulously edited book deserves a five-star rating. It is suitable for children aged 1 to 11 and an enjoyable read for adults as well.

Dona K.


“The Five Birds and the Cat Queen” by Jeff Cortazzo is a flawless children’s book with stunning illustrations, a captivating plot, and valuable moral messages.

Dora T

What A Great Story With A Wonderful Lesson!

I read this to myself while playing the soundtrack. The illustrations were so lively, I would need to read it several more times just to catch all of the nuances. The story line had a nice tempo, flowing well with the development of the characters. The conclusion was not a new one, but yet very important. It’s not what is outside a person that defines them, but what is inside!

Arthur D

The book alone is captivating

The book alone is captivating with its Dr Seuss-meets-Night Before Christmas rhyming, vibrant illustrations, and adventure story. Paired with the audio of the musical composition and narration, it is simply enchanting. My nephew (who likes video games and not so much books) loved it!

Michelle W

Brilliant, Beautiful and Colorful!

My sons ADORED this book. The captivating music pairs effortlessly with the words making it a very easy and joyful read. A perfect way to make reading fun!

Victor, B


I found the voice characterizations to be engaging; the pace of the story will satisfy a broad cross-section of young learners; and the colorful drawings that poignantly captured each storyboard segment to be captivating. Nice work!

Keith M.

My granddaughter and grandson enjoy

My granddaughter and grandson enjoy the pictures and the music! Great job Jeff!

Eric R

Great book with a great life lesson!

Beautifully written and drawn! My 7-year-old enjoyed it and followed along smoothly. Great lessons for all to remember.

Tyrone S

An Elementary Teacher’s View

Having spent 32 years in an elementary classroom, mostly in Kindergarten and 2nd Grade, I would recommend this book to my K-2 colleagues. Its illustrations are exceptional and are sure to enhance the students’ experience. The story itself is especially appropriate in putting forth the importance of kindness and character at a time when both are sorely needed. The author includes colorful descriptions sure to enhance the vocabulary of listeners and readers alike. I look forward to the future adventures of this flock of five.

Brian H

Fun and Spirited

Such talent! The music, the rhyming, the narration and the artwork all add up to a fun and magical experience for a young reader with a gentle message of what true beauty is. Where to for the next adventure?!?

Veronica U.

I loved the sweet and important lesson

My three year old Olivia and I love this book, she stays interested through the whole thing and loves the whole story and the music that goes with it. The narration is so fun and I can tell that a lot of time was spent on the music accompanying it.

Abby L


My 5- and 13-year-old sons were captivated by the whimsical illustrations, witty rhymes, accompanying soundtrack and author narration which created a truly immersive experience. My 5-year- old loved turning the pages to keep up with the snaps and wanted to ‘read it again’ as soon as we finished. 5 stars all around for a wonderfully conceived product that entertains and inspires.

Regan B


It’s hard to believe that one person possesses all the talent required to develop a story, make the story rhyme, compose the music, and all the art work, and bringing it all together. Unbelievable. Hope all the children enjoy this book.

Raphael C

A billion stars

“I give it a billion percent of likes!”
– Cora, age 6

Reading “The Five Birds” has become our new bedtime routine! Sometimes we read it together, but she usually prefers “The Jeff” (aka the sound track) .
She was absolutely enamored with the bright and colorful illustrations from start to finish. She’s now requesting a quetzal for her birthday!

Cora goes on to say:
“I like how the blue bird that can talk looks just like the ocean. And the cats are so cute! And their houses. I like the catbird’s red behind.”

Angie S


Nothing short of magnificent comes to mind! The story, the illustrations, the music and the message all from one human! Very well done.

Kristen, C

A Delight

The only thing more delightful than the combined artistry of prose, music and visual insight in this charming book is the artist himself.

Paula S


Amazing and unique to say the least. This book has everything. Art, poetic narration, music and a story with purpose. “Love it”. This one-of-a-kind book will be the family favorite and a wonderful addition to your children’s library.

Carole C

Inspiring and captivating

With the turning of each page, the readers are immersed into a world of fantasy where music, color, and poetry are used to convey a powerful message: that true beauty comes from within. This is a book that sharpens the mind with challenging vocabulary and softens the heart with eternal truths.

Nicoleta M.