Yellow Dog Blues

Eerdmans. Sept. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780802855534.
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.

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