|Yellow dog blues|
Author: Duncan, Alice Faye
Traveling across the Mississippi Delta, Bo Willie searches blues landmarks like Dockery Farms and Beale Street for his missing dog.
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Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/15/22)
School Library Journal (10/28/22)
Booklist (+) (08/01/22)
The Hornbook (00/09/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2022 *Starred Review* The premise is simple—a dog runs away, and a boy goes in search of him—but the execution is so much more. A historical journey, an exploration of blues music, and an exciting new technique for a Caldecott-winning artist come together in this unique artistic exploration. Bo Willie goes to feed Yellow Dog one morning, only to find the doghouse empty. He checks with neighbors, such as Farmer Fred and the Yee family, who point him toward Highway 61 and the Dockery Farm. Hitching a ride with Aunt Jessie in her pink Cadillac gets Bo Willie further down the road but no closer to that Yellow Dog. The rhythmic, colloquial text is full of references to music and sites that an author’s note identifies as the “Mississippi Blues Trail.” As the text describes the roots of the Delta blues, its bittersweet tone takes on greater resonance. Although there is fun to be had for Bo Willie on his trip, in the end he must accept that Yellow Dog has moved along. Raschka combines fabric paint, embroidery, and collage on canvas to create portraits of the people and places Bo Willie sees, incorporating hand-stitched patches, maps, and words into the visual images to amplify the musical qualities of the story. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/28/2022 K-Gr 3—The blues are not just a feeling but the sounds of the South, and they run through Duncan's story and history lesson with a smooth rhythm all the author's own. Raschka's artwork is unique, with a mix of cross-stitching and patches of fabric that makes readers feel cozy and comforted, reminded of a time long past. Bo Willis, a young Black boy, decides to go share his breakfast with his best friend, his yellow dog. When Bo goes to the dog house he notices his puppy dog is gone. Bo sets out on a journey through the Mississippi Delta, sharing his love for his yellow dog, and his love for the music that his yellow dog is searching for. The tale flows like a song as Bo pushes on to find his dog. Readers empathize and relate to the loss of a loved one; here Raschka does something unique. While his illustrations are vibrant and colorful, which seems completely opposite to the blues, they remind readers that life continues, no matter the losses. VERDICT The history of the time period and the music makes this useful in the classroom.—Jacquetta Etheridge - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.