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Double Bass Blues

By: Andrea J. Loney

Illustrator: Rudy Gutierrez

Nic is an aspiring musician whose life spans two different worlds—his suburban school where he wows his friends in orchestra, and the busy city streets of his home where he’s jostled by the crowd. Nic makes his way home from a busy day at school with a double bass on his back, the symphony of his surroundings in his heart, and a sweet surprise for the reader at the end of his journey. This is a sweet, melodious picture book about how dedication, music, and family can overcome any obstacle.

Full-color illustrations created with acrylic paint.
 

ISBN: 9781524718534

JLG Release: Apr 2020


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Double bass , Musicians , Bands (music) , Grandfathers , Neighborhoods , African Americans

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Awards & Honors

CPL Best Books - 2019
Caldecott Medal Honoree - 2020

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine*, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, Booklist, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

In an explosion of vibrant color (thanks to Rudy Gutierrez’s liquid acrylics), young Nic wins kudos for his double bass solo with the school orchestra, but faces a tough journey home. Lugging his beloved (but bulky) bull fiddle, the boy is harassed and taunted on his long trip, and is finally faced with an out-of-service elevator and multiple fli In an explosion of vibrant color (thanks to Rudy Gutierrez’s liquid acrylics), young Nic wins kudos for his double bass solo with the school orchestra, but faces a tough journey home. Lugging his beloved (but bulky) bull fiddle, the boy is harassed and taunted on his long trip, and is finally faced with an out-of-service elevator and multiple flights of stairs. Happily, he finds not only his loving grandfather waiting for him, but some of granddaddy’s jazz-playing buddies sitting with their instruments at the ready, sorely in need of that boy and his bull fiddle. Colorful, full of movement, limited in text but loaded with emotion, this is an ode to the diversity of music and the determination of a talented kid. A dramatic and emotional selection for older readers than the usual picture book audience, particularly kids who love music and have had their own tough journeys home.

Horn Book

Told entirely through dialogue and sound effects, the story follows double-bass player Nic as he performs an “epic solo” at band practice at school, then heads out toward the city on foot (many of his fellow suburban students are picked up in SUVs). On his journey Nic encounters such obstacles as rain (“plunk, plunk, plunk”), a threatening Told entirely through dialogue and sound effects, the story follows double-bass player Nic as he performs an “epic solo” at band practice at school, then heads out toward the city on foot (many of his fellow suburban students are picked up in SUVs). On his journey Nic encounters such obstacles as rain (“plunk, plunk, plunk”), a threatening dog (“grrrrrrrr!”), taunting passersby (pointing at his instrument: “It’s bigger than him!”), and a broken elevator (“Oh, man!”). Finally, he arrives at his destination—not home, as readers might expect, but the Sunset Ballroom, where he is warmly welcomed by his grandfather. Careful readers will spot the “Nicodemus Grant & Band” sign that tells us Nic’s grandfather is himself a musician. At book’s end, the boy reprises his double-bass solo with his grandfa-ther’s band: “Hey, Granddaddy Nic! Listen to this!” The vibrant, dynamic illustra-tions fairly hum with energy—curved lines swoop and jagged lines angle across the pages, adding movement here; tension there. Musical notes and clapping hands appear throughout, reinforcing just how much sound the story contains. A book about a lot of things—music, and determination, and straddling worlds, and the celebration of Black boyhood and family—that nevertheless feels cohesive and effortless.

Book Details

ISBN

9781524718534

First Release

April 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

E

Trim Size

10" x 10"

Page Count

32

Accelerated Reader

Level 1.3; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Library edition with trade jacket added

Publisher

Knopf

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Double bass, Musicians, Bands (music), Grandfathers, Neighborhoods, African Americans,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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Book Genres

Picture Book

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