An award-winning author and a Caldecott Medalist improvise a playful tribute to the creators of bebop—Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
When sax player Charlie “Bird” Parker and trumpeter John “Dizzy” Gillespie make music together, they toss notes back and forth like a game of tag and chase each other with sounds. As Dizzy’s cheeks puff out like a frog with glasses, the two friends beep and bop and push each other to create a new kind of music—a thrilling fast jazz full of surprises. Blending a playful, rhythmic narration with expressive illustrations as fluid and dynamic as their subjects, this tribute to the masters of bebop by acclaimed biographer Gary Golio and beloved artist Ed Young will have readers hankering to listen for themselves.
The book’s language and images are every bit as vibrant as the music they celebrate. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The free verse is arranged to conjure speed and playfulness, and the imagery is amusing, i.e., Dizzy’s puffy cheeks are compared to a frog’s. … The ever-experimental Young uses gouache and bursts of orange and pink pastel strokes to form Gillespie and his hot trumpet, whereas Parker’s saxophone sounds are rendered in greens and blues. … Irresistible. —School Library Journal (starred review)
Exuberant and gorgeous—like the music. —Kirkus Reviews
An impressionistic story of a “be-bop-a-skoodley” friendship comes together in the juxtaposition of a series of opposites—rendering and abstraction, saturation and resistance, darkness and light—reflecting the special partnership of two distinct musical legends…. The resulting combination of words and imagery introduces the unique players and captures the controlled, explosive frenzy of their musical collaboration. —Horn Book
Bebop has never been so beautiful. —BookPage
Like saxophonist Parker and trumpeter Gillespie, author Golio and illustrator Young are each acclaimed artists in their own right. By bringing together their individual forms and styles of artistic expression, however, they contribute equally to the creation of a product with its unique meaning and synergy. —Literacy Daily
This could indeed be an inspiring impetus for an artistic enterprise, but it’s also an informative introduction to two jazz greats. —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Illustrations flow through the text, depicting the music with abstract images. Bright colors are used throughout and serve to give readers an idea of the sound qualities of bebop music. —School library Connection