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.
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.
Bebop has never been so beautiful.
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.
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