Bird & Diz
Written by Gary Golio
Illustrated by Ed Young
The look and set up for this fun book are perfect to give the feel for the music called bebop. When Charlie “Bird” Parker and John “Dizzy” Gillespie performed “Salt Peanuts” and their many other creations, they were more concerned about the mood than the form. The never-ending fold out of these pages gives the reader impression they are there when Diz plays his trumpet and Bird wails on his sax. Bebop is a heartbeat with fireworks, a roller coaster where the musicians chase each other. The illustrations make you want the music to go on forever.
First graders will want to review the pages many times, increasing their literacy skills and comprehension. Noting that bebop was about innovation and having fun makes the music history come alive. The back matter in the Afterword gives a good start for further exploration and encourages artistic expression in all its forms.