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DOO-WOP POP by Roni Schotter


by Roni Schotter & illustrated by Bryan Collier

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-057968-5
Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

School janitor Mr. Searle, a singer in his youth, earns the tag “Doo-Wop Pop.” He has a kind heart and an eye for the shy. Inviting narrator Elijah Earl and four other timid classmates for an impromptu stage-dance lesson, he surprises the kids, who assume he’ll teach them music, too. “That’s your job. Stop, look and listen to the world. Catch the thing that makes you feel like you just have to sing!” The kids don’t own instruments, but Pop describes his a capella days touring with the Icicles. The kid quintet listens to school sounds, practices and discovers individual vocal strengths—and greater harmony together—culminating in the anticipatory hush before their school show. Schotter incorporates deft internal rhyme and sly allusions to such hits as the Cadillacs’ “Speedoo.” Display type tattoos Pop’s pro-kid patter: “Be-boppa bold…. Be-boppa brave.” Collier’s collaged watercolors transmit the clamor of crowded halls and connect Mr. Searle’s debonair youth with his older, wiser self. Endpapers elegantly celebrate bands from the Dell-Vikings to the Penguins. Cousin Brucie’s jacket blurb summarizes nicely: “—wow!” (Picture book. 4-8)