The blues aren’t all sad. There’s joy in the blues as well as heartbreak. Love discovered. Love lost. Love just around the corner.
In this beautiful tribute to the poetry and art of the blues, renowned author Walter Dean Myers collaborates with his son, award-winning illustrator Christopher Myers, in a true masterpiece of picture book creation filled with struggle, grief, hope, joy, and love.
Each original blues-style verse on a page calls out a response from the artist in striking tones of brown, black, white, and blue. Together, father and son weave an enchanting story of the creation of the blues through the experiences of African Americans from the end of slavery through the beginning of the civil rights movement.
This book is for older children who love music and their parents who will appreciate the layered sophistication of the striking artwork and interplay between art and text.
Includes an author’s note explaining the birth and development of the blues, a timeline of blues milestones, and an explanatory glossary of terms in the blues. Together this content deepens the appreciation for the blues as a truly original art form.
A Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor book An ALA Notable book Horn Book Fanfare Selection Kirkus Reviews Editor’s Choice New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age A Children’s Book of the Year, Child Study Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College
★ “A powerful union of text and image transmutes itself into a work of art-and it explains what the blues is, besides. Walter Dean Myers takes fragments of blues songs and creates an arc of poetry with them. His son, Christopher, using only brown paper, blue ink, and white paint, creates a visual counterpoint to the words that sometimes reflects them and other times goes to a different but related place.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ “In this collection of original poems, Myers’s blues extend themselves to themes of racism, loneliness, slavery, and just plain hard luck. Christopher Myers’s illustrations are impressively composed and imaginatively varied in design. You’ll have to make up the tunes, but Myers père et fils are so deeply immersed in the rhythms and idioms of the blues that the music will seem to come right out of you in response.” —The Horn Book, Starred Review
“The blues’ deceptively simple rhyme scheme tracks the deeper feelings of lives that have been bruised. In this picture book for older readers, Myers offers blues-inspired verse that touches on the black-and-blue moments of individual lives. His son Christopher’s images, which illustrate the call-and-response text, alternate between high spirited and haunting.” —Booklist