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by Linda Oatman High & illustrated by John O’Brien

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 1-59078-379-4
Publisher: Boyds Mills

When Cool Bopper, the saxophonist of the Snazzy Catz Jazz Club, loses his false teeth during a particularly impassioned scat, he loses his bop at the same time. Riding atop a beehive ’do to the ladies’ room, they are mistakenly flushed, and with that calamity, the blues descends on Cool Bopper. High’s exuberant text grooves on the musical possibilities of jazz, stringing together consonants and internal rhymes in a mellifluous celebration of sound: “Poor Cool Bopper / toted / his saxophone— / his golden bold / baritone saxophone” O’Brien’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations pulse with energy, blending the curves of musical instruments into the architecture itself in a visual countermelody (an especially inspired cross-section of plumbing reveals a sewage system designed like a French horn). The resolution is sweetly satisfying: A morose Cool Bopper seeks solace by the seashore and finds his teeth blowing on a shell; a grin wider than the Hudson reveals that the bop is back. Not the weightiest tale on the shelves, but still good silly, be-boppin’ fun. (Picture book. 3-8)