DOUBLE BASS BLUES by Andrea J. Loney
Kirkus Star

DOUBLE BASS BLUES

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A young musician is inspired by the beat and rhythm of his commute.

Nic’s journey begins with an enthusiastic “Ziiiiiiiiiiip!” and a contemplative “Hummmmm…” as he’s applauded in orchestra. Then, with his double bass strapped to his back, he trades the trees and space of his suburban school for towering buildings and city buses. He dodges dogs, bullies, and rain, hustling home to warm hugs and a jazz jam session replete with onomatopoeic improvisations taken from his commute. The, “whoosh” of the bus’s windshield wipers pairs with the plunk” of rain and the “clap” of his classmates as Nic releases the sounds and sights of the afternoon through his music. Acrylic-paint illustrations include geometric squiggles and swirls that outline and emphasize musical vibrations and the spare, expressive text. Defined shapes are rendered in a vibrant palette that brings out the range of colors present in the characters’ skin tones. Nic, who presents black, is a blend of blues, blacks, golds, and reds, with his boxy, spiked hair a muted mixture of oranges, browns, pinks, and greens. One exceptional double-page spread uses interlocking triangles to separate scenes that capture Nic’s movement from the suburbs to the city. This journey is also expressed in the stenciled endpapers, the front showing Nic in his orchestra and the back, at home, jamming.

Simple language complements complex paintings to create the perfect literary melody. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5247-1852-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2019




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