From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 4–A fine picture-book debut from the creator of MAD magazine's popular SPY vs. SPY cartoons. In this flashback to the 1950s beatnik generation, Theo is a beret-wearing hep cat who loves to play his saxophone. Unfortunately, he can only blow one blue note. One night, a clarinet-shaped rocket appears in his yard. The ship carries him to the moon, where he finds another spacecraft (the Apollo) and a band made up of famous performers such as Duck Ellington, Nat King Cobra, and Elephants Gerald. Theo joins the jam session, and with Duck's help on the piano, is soon playing all the BLUES! (sky, indigo, periwinkle, etc.). The Apollo takes off, blasting COOL jazz with a HOT beat…. Done in watercolors, colored pencils, and collage, the blue-tinged illustrations reflect the story's tone. Spray-painted backgrounds add texture and give the artwork a dreamlike quality. The gleaming gold rocket signifies Theo's change in mood, which brightens when he finds the other musicians, and the book ends on a scintillating yellow note. This enjoyable story presents a wonderful opportunity to introduce children to jazz and the artists alluded to. Team this razzmatazz tale with Chris Raschka's Charlie Parker Played Be Bop (Scholastic, 1992) and similar titles for a swinging storytime ensemble.–Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Peter Kupers illustrations and comics appear regularly in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, and MAD, for which he writes and illustrates Spy vs. Spy. Mr. Kuper, shown here with his daughter, lives in New York City and Oaxaca, Mexico.