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Yellow Dog Blues

Yellow Dog Blues

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Black child takes readers on a Mississippi blues tour in search of a four-legged friend.

Bo Willie can’t find his dog anywhere. After asking around and consulting a map, he realizes that Yellow Dog, bit by the blues bug, is heading for Beale Street in Memphis, where “he sings all day and night.” Along the way, Bo Willie stops by several sites that figure prominently in blues history, among them the Merigold Blues Club, Hicks’ Tamales, and the intersection of Highway 8 and Highway 1, one of several locations mentioned in the many legends about Robert Johnson, who is said to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the gift of blues music. Raschka’s illustrations, created with fabric paint and embroidery on canvas, provide layers of texture and energy that give this book a soulful, country feel. The book is genius in its simplicity; instead of offering a factual account of the blues, it invites readers to feel the music—and readers absolutely will. Duncan playfully weaves in references to the blues; her text exudes the tone of a blues song yet remains cheerfully child-friendly (“Then we drove toward Merigold / to shimmy, shake, and boogie”). The backmatter includes information on the Mississippi Delta and the sites that Bo Willie visits.


Author: Alice Faye Duncan

Illustrator: Chris Raschka


Page Count: 32


Published: September 27, 2022


ISBN: 9780802855534

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