Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Gary Golio
Illustrator: Ed Young
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Charlie “Bird” Parker and John “Dizzy” Gillespie are best friends who love music. Together they create jazz like no one has ever heard before. They toss notes back and forth, like little kids playing, always pushing each other to be better musicians. Effortlessly their music flows between them and fills the air with excitement. Bird chases Diz, Diz chases Bird. They’ll never catch each other, but that’s what makes their music so great.
This book offers a unique format and style. It is made up one long page, folded accordion style into the binding, and the illustrations that stretch across either side of this page are vital to the story. In the book, the text describes what Bird and Diz play together and how it looks. The illustrations describe how it sounds. Brushes of ink droplets swooping across the panels give the reader an idea of the underlining smoothness in their song. With bright lines of pastel, the reader can practically hear bursts of exciting notes. Often the outline of the instruments being played, and sometimes the musicians playing them, are incorporated in the beautiful art. At the end of the book, there is an afterword that contains a history of Bird and Diz. Even though it is written at an intermediate level, this book is also for children as young as primary age who may be encouraged to listen to some of Bird and Diz’s music and create their own art.