During September’s KBG Bar reading, Victor LaValle took some time after he had read from his book, The Devil in Silver, to get his picture taken with his son’s favorite picture book, Charlie Parker Played Beboop by Chris Raschka.
A friend gave me Charlie Parker Played Bebop by Chris Raschka as gift for my fifteen-month old son. At first I wasn’t sure how this book would go down. I thought that since jazz can sometimes be atonal and ambitious even a book about a jazz musician would require a more sophisticated palette than the one my kid had formed so far. Nevertheless, the friend was quite smart and had a daughter of her own and swore Charlie Parker… was one of her child’s favorites. My wife and I gave it a shot.
If you know this book, then you already know that I’m an idiot. My fears were baseless. Chris Raschka is a crazily gifted artist, one who charmed my son, my wife, and me right from the jump. The book manages to sound like bebop even as it tells you some essential facts about Charlie Parker. For instance, that he played be bop. Every day now our son picks this book up, walks toward me or my wife, shouting,“Be ba! Be ba!” The smile on his face is as beautiful to me as Charlie Parker’s music.
Be sure to check out the last Photo of the Week with Kam Mak. Happy Reading!