cover image Who Bop

Who Bop

Jonathan London. HarperCollins Children's Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-027917-2

As in his groovy Hip Cat and his less successful The Candystore Man, London strives for a bippity-bopping boogie rhythm, this time convening an animal dance party. Here ""hoppin' hares"" and flipper-kicking green frogs enjoy some jams. On stage is a gray-striped sax-playing cat, Jazz-Bo, whose enthusiastic accompanists include a clarinetist cat, a drumming dog and mice running up and down a piano keyboard. London structures the book around the thrice-repeated refrain of ""Who bop?/ We bop./ We all bop/ for be-bop!/ Hip hop/ doodlee-wop--/ let's go to the sock hop!"" He cheerfully strings together nonsense raps for the sake of poetic meter: ""Jazz-Bo's sax/ beats all the facts./ He makes his tunes/ fly like loons."" Cole (Moosetache; The Wacky Wedding) conveys the party atmosphere through colored-pencil drawings with very little background detail. The dancers and musicians jump and jive with abandon and, since this is a sock hop, everyone sports saggy socks, including the red-and-yellow snakes. This eager exercise in scatting and jitterbugging has its moments of musical mirth, but readers whose dance cards have included similar fare can sit this one out. Ages 3-6. (Feb.)