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OL' BLOO'S BOOGIE-WOOGIE BAND AND BLUES ENSEMBLE by Jan Huling

OL' BLOO'S BOOGIE-WOOGIE BAND AND BLUES ENSEMBLE

By Jan Huling (Author) , Henri Sørensen (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-56145-436-5
Publisher: Peachtree

Huling’s fresh variant on “The Bremen Town Musicians” conveys a narrative musicality all its own. Faithfully adapting motifs and characters from Grimm, she swaps Bremen for the equally elusive New Orleans. Ol’ Bloo Donkey, fleeing slaughter by his farmer, sets off for work in a honky tonk. No matter that the confident donkey’s voice (the jocular narrator confides) “sounded like an accordion fallin’ down the stairs.” Ol’ Bloo and his new pals Gnarly Dog, One-Eyed Lemony Cat and Rusty Red Rooster (all equally hard up and pleased with their own caterwauls) scare a trio of thieves from a woodland cabin, gorge on their Creole feast and retire there peacefully, New Orleans a long-forgotten destination. The title—which apparently commemorates the author's college band’s name—is the only misapplied element here: Bayou cadences, outré metaphors for each animal’s singing and an easy way with a rueful folkloric voice make this a treasure. Sørensen’s pastoral oil paintings alternate with crisp black silhouettes, suiting the tale—but it’s the lively narrative that sings right on key. (Picture book/folktale. 6-10)