In every corner of the world, for as long as man has been on earth, there has always been music. Nowhere is the music better than in New Orleans, Louisianna. The best bands would make their way there, and Bobcat Bob and his Bourbon Street Band are no exception. Bob is on the drums, supported by an ensemble that includes an alligator (on standup bass), some raccoons, a frog, and several species of birds. People came from all around to hear them play. They would sing and clap and dance. Then, one night. It stopped. Darkness and dull took over the city ... until, at the other end of Bourbon Street, someone heard the tap of a drum. Was that music? Who was bringing it back?
The rhyme and cadence are spectacular. Kids will love the pace and the opportunity to make the sounds of some of the instruments. There is a definite New Orleans feel to the story. What perplexes me, though, is why the music stopped. Neither the story nor notes from the author set any context for why everything suddenly shifts. And it is a big, obvious shift. Had I been reading this with my daughter at a younger age, she would most certainly want to know what happened. Parents may want to pre-read this and get a sense of how they want to answer that question.
With great rhyme you will scat your way through New Orleans with Bobcat Bob and his Bourbon Street Band. Fun illustrations and insets that give the story a nonfiction picture book add to the musical tale by helping create a sense of place.
This rhyming picture book celebrates the musical style of New Orleans.
Head to the library or YouTube to find examples of different types of New Orleans-styled music. For kids who dont' know some of the instruments (like spoons) it should be easy to find videos that feature them. With kids in elementary school, you can talk more about the history of New Orleans and its cultural traditions of parades and celebrations.
8 and Up
4 to 9
Buy. Especially if you love rhyming books with a musical beat.