Bird & Diz

by Gary Golio and Ed Young

A picture book about jazz artists Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie is as spirited... read more

A picture book about jazz artists Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie is as spirited in tone as it is unusual in format. The duo credited with creating bebop are engaged in a friendly collaboration/competition here as they perform the song “Salt Peanuts.” It plays out like a game of tag, which is used as a metaphor in the narrative, or a contest of friendly one-upmanship: “Bird’s fingers fly across the brass. / Is that smoke coming out of his horn? / He wrinkles his nose, and his bow tie jitters. / Top that, Dizzy Boy.” Verbally energetic and visually dynamic, the free-flowing, colorful, textured art spans the accordion-fold pages, extending into single, long image on each side. The format will bring surprise and pleasure, much like bebop itself. It also makes it a book best shared through collaboration and participation, again, perfectly in tune with the music. More information about Parker and Gillespie’s collaboration on bebop is provided in an afterword that invites readers to listen to a performance of Bird and Diz and “pick up your crayons and draw!” (Age 8 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016

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