Ostergard Review

 
The Ballad of Phineas McBoof
by Maren Ostergard, School Library Journal
 
Doctor Noize (Cory Cullinan) brings his unique brand of musical storytelling to this collection. Fifteen vignettes, presented like a rock opera, tell the story of the rock star monkey, Phineas McBoof, who has grown tired of his super stardom and leaves his home on the Island of Thelonius for an adventure. While traveling, he explores a variety of different musical styles including country (“What My Robot Said)” and pop (“Don’t Monkey with My Heart”). Many of the tunes feature an electronic musical sound.
 
Cullinan is joined by a cast of professional musicians as well as his wife and two young daughters. On his journey, McBoof meets a number of interesting musical creatures, including percussionist Backbone the Octopus, bassist Bottomus the Hip Popotamus, Riley the Robot, and fiddler Lenny Long Tail who uses his tail to play. They form a new band, The International Band of Misunderstood Geniuses. Listeners learn about a variety of musical instruments and different styles of music. Children will especially enjoy the catchy tune that is an ode to McBoof’s favorite food, “Banana.” Some songs have received airtime on the children’s channels of satellite radio (XMradio). A fun addition for public libraries.