From Publishers Weekly
With the synergy of a veteran jazz duo, debut author Weinstein and Christie (Jazz Baby) pay rollicking tribute to Satchmo and the singing style he popularized. Freewheeling verbal and visual riffs elevate the simple plot: after a mother and daughter dance to the radio before bedtime (We spin an' twirl around, waggle our heads an' wiggle our hips), the girl learns to sing scat—about her bubble gum—when Armstrong visits her in a dream. Rippety wrapper/ glittery new/ pinkety sweet/ stickety chew. Children can both giggle at the bouncy non sequiturs (Cricket's throne/ puppy's bone/ bug's umbrella/ mozzarella???) and absorb some musical history from endnotes on Armstrong and scat. Christie's vibrant acrylics offer a pleasing, surreal fluidity. Floating purple trumpets, a winding musical staff and appearances by some hep-looking animals all jell with the anything-goes nature of the subject. Ages 5–9. (Feb.)
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Scat, the grown-up art form of sounding like a baby, finds a home in this energetic picture book featuring scat’s pioneering practitioner and a little girl who loves bubble gum. After her momma teaches her what scat is, she’s visited by Louis Armstrong in a dream. Together, they chew up a musical mouthful: “squash-itee / stretch-itee / gummity thick / squooz-itee / oooz-itee / blowitty quick!” Decked out in bubble-gum pinks and soulful blues, scenes of the little girl and Satchmo cool-catting it across the pages will gets kids moving, but it’s the bop-happy nonsense words themselves that highlight the art. The frenetic mix of font sizes, types, and layouts mimic the wild variations of vocal timbre and staccato rhythms that kids should have no problem glomming onto with a little bit of help. Ideal for group settings and early music classes, this book will encourage what kids do best: gleefully spouting nonsense, bouncing out of their seats, and being as silly as possible. Preschool-Grade 2. --Ian Chipman
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