DIZZY by Jonah Winter
Kirkus Star

DIZZY

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

The syncopated rhythms of bebop form the backbeat to this introduction to Dizzy Gillespie. Winter sets his stage with a firm delineation of young Gillespie’s character: A little boy who was the target of bullies and the victim of an abusive father found an outlet with the trumpet, and turned himself into a clown. The narrative focuses on Gillespie’s own emotional and artistic journey, celebrating his desire to take risks “until the very thing that had gotten him into trouble / so much— / being a clown, breaking all the rules— / had become the thing that made him great, / . . . . ” The text breaks into ecstatic scat while the illustrations move from representational art to abstract depictions of the jagged sounds of jazz. Qualls’s acrylic-and-collage images employ a muted palette of pinks and blues and beiges, and compositions vary from scenes of daily life to poster-like montages, effectively establishing Gillespie as larger than life. The narrative culminates in a priceless image of Dizzy “shov[ing] the angel Gabriel out of the way / and show[ing] him how to play / Bebop.” “OOP BOP SH’BAM!” (author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-439-50737-5
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2006




PERFORMING ARTISTS IN PICTURE-BOOK BIOGRAPHIES:

Children THE GIRL ON THE HIGH-DIVING HORSE by Linda Oatman High
by Linda Oatman High
Children ELLA FITZGERALD by Andrea Davis Pinkney
by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Children BALLET OF THE ELEPHANTS by Leda Schubert
by Leda Schubert
Children HOUDINI by Kathleen Krull
by Kathleen Krull

MORE BY JONAH WINTER

ChildrenJFK by Jonah Winter
by Jonah Winter
ChildrenYOU NEVER HEARD OF WILLIE MAYS?! by Jonah Winter
by Jonah Winter
ChildrenJUST BEHAVE, PABLO PICASSO! by Jonah Winter
by Jonah Winter

MORE BY SEAN QUALLS

ChildrenLULLABY (FOR A BLACK MOTHER) by Langston Hughes
by Langston Hughes
ChildrenFREEDOM SONG by Sally M. Walker
by Sally M. Walker
ChildrenGIANT STEPS TO CHANGE THE WORLD by Spike Lee
by Spike Lee

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenHARLEM'S LITTLE BLACKBIRD by Renée Watson
by Renée Watson
ChildrenTHE BEATLES WERE FAB by Kathleen Krull
by Kathleen Krull
ChildrenIT JES' HAPPENED by Don Tate
by Don Tate