MYSTERIOUS THELONIOUS by Chris Rasehka
Kirkus Star

MYSTERIOUS THELONIOUS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If part of the joy in Charlie Parker Played Be Bop (1992) was in the sheer bounce of the words, then this book makes music even for readers who don't know who jazz great Thelonious Monk was. The words slither all over the page, written in Raschka's signature script: ""This is a story about Thelonious Monk and his music. There were no wrong notes on his piano/had no wrong notes, oh no."" Each spread contains Monk and his piano in various guises on a background that comes as close to synesthesia as possible. Raschka matches the 12 musical notes of the chromatic scale to the 12 values of the color wheel, and makes harmonies of watercolor washes. First the pages are filled with just a few squares of color; more and more boxes of color come into play as counterpoint to the text and figures, until Monk and his piano rest on a crazy quilt of colors. It sounds difficult for children, but its message of ""no wrong notes"" is loud and clear. Artistically way cool.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard