Gr 3 Up--This book's capable creators capture the flavor of "Salt Peanuts," a bebop classic associated with Charlie "Bird" Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Golio has previously tackled the challenge of using words to present musicians as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and John Coltrane. 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 performance is presented as a game: "They take turns,/tossing notes back and forth like jugglers,/or play at the same time,/...Two hearts--one heartbeat." As they race to the finale, "Bird keeps flying, and Dizzy--/well, he's just plain dizzy!/They'll never catch each other,/but that's the point." The ever-experimental Young uses gouache and bursts of orange and pink pastel strokes to form Gillespie and his hot trumpet, whereas Coltrane's saxophone sounds are rendered in greens and blues. The golden brown paper is a subtle nod to the song's title and an effective foil for the color. Accordion pages pull out into a long spread, with the first side establishing the performers and their relationship. A river of ink on the water-repellant paper forms a beaded curvy line--the music pulsing across the gutters, climaxing in a rainbow of percussion. On the reverse, the letters of "bebop" blast out, morphing into frolicking abstractions. A brief afterword creates a context for bebop and encourages listening. It also admonishes readers to "pick up your crayons and draw!" That charge will be irresistible.--Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public LibraryCopyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Young (Nighttime Ninja) draws this homage to Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker not on pages that turn, but on one long piece of stiff paper folded accordion-style, echoing the long, flowing phrases played by the inventors of bebop. "Two hearts--one heartbeat," writes Golio (Spirit Seeker). "You can't even tell whose notes are whose!" Young's sinuous ink line bunches together to portray the faces of the two players, then loosens and grows as it follows the freedom and energy of the music. Scribbles of pink, orange, and blue correspond to bursts of bright notes. Golio's language plays off the music: "I dare you, Birdman! Let it rip!" In the final images, the two musicians bump fists, then sling their arms around each other. Bebop, Golio explains in an afterword, was American music, and because Bird and Diz were black men, their "leadership in this new style of music brought them importance and respect at a time when there was widespread discrimination and racism." The book's language and images are every bit as vibrant as the music they celebrate. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Feb.) ■Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.