Monday, September 7, 2009

I've Got the Blues, The Daddy Longlegs Blues.

Even at first glance, I’m digging THE DADDY LONGLEGS BLUES, a groovy picture book written by Mike Ornstein and illustrated by Lisa Kopelke. On the front is an old school record covered with bugs and a laid-back Daddy Longlegs. I’m thinking most kids won’t even know what a record is, but this cover will give parents an opportunity to go old school and tell the little whippersnappers about the good old days. Makes me feel like digging out the old record player, blowing off the dust, and singing the blues.

This Daddy Longlegs, he’s got a reason for the blues, and boy does he play them. The multitalented Daddy plays a plethora of instruments and he never stops rambling. Lisa Kopelke’s fun illustrations keep us watching Daddy Longlegs, always on the move, playing a new instrument at every turn. He never loses his groove. It’s no wonder he’s a legend.

THE DADDY LONGLEGS BLUES, has a nice rhythm that keeps the flow bee-boppin along. Mike Ornstein’s fun humor may give you a giggle. Plus, he’s woven the fiction with facts in a way that isn’t intrusive or didactic, it’s just part of the fun. Did you know that daddy longlegs are opiliones? My little one does now.

The book also has a couple of great features after the story. There’s a glossary of blues terms defining words like funky and soul. The list of musical instruments played by Daddy Longlegs and their definitions is fun. Then there’s a page about “Daddy Longlegs and the Blues” which starts out, “Like many blues players, Daddy Longlegs are ramblers, wandering through life to their own funky rhythm.” Now that’s really bringing it all together.

THE DADDY LONGLEGS BLUES, written by Mark Ornstein and illustrated by Lisa Kopelke is published by Sterling Publishing.

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