LOOKIN’ FOR  BIRD IN THE BIG CITY by Robert Burleigh
Kirkus Star

LOOKIN’ FOR BIRD IN THE BIG CITY

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

Burleigh limns a fictionalized account of the very young Miles Davis coming to New York City with his trumpet, seeking Charlie “Bird” Parker and his saxophone. He searches via clubs and rooftops, subways and bridges, seeking the music “sky-ee, dee-ah, dee-ah, do-dee, da-do.” The urgency of his search, tinged with desire, need, and the merest hint of rivalry, suffuses the text, punctuated by scat lines that float or swoop over the pictures: “notes that clanged like buoy bells, and tumbled like the whiteness of the wake, ’cause Bird’s horn had those sounds inside it, and I wanted them, too.” Pencil, oil, and watercolor were used in the full-page, full-bleed illustrations, which have a rich, smoky texture. The colors of deep twilight and overcast heavens soften the expansive cityscapes, recalling the heyday of 57th Street and its abundance of nightclubs. Once inside, the silhouetted shapes of Miles and Bird on stage together have an iconic presence. Best read aloud by a storyteller with jazz inside, but sure to inspire more music. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-202031-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Silver Whistle/Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2001




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