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Winning actually isn't everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.
Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer "Bee" Holiday, Rooster's chances sure look good—particularly after his " 'Hen from Ipanema' [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon."—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world's best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander's versifying isn't always in tune ("So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame..."), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower's canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz's instruments, history and best-known musicians.
In all, a high-stepping riff on the pleasures of live music in general and the history of jazz in particular. (Picture book. 7-9)
Posted July 15, 2012
Kwame Alexander has created a delightful book for all ages that introduces jazz legends through his wonderful characters, including Ella Finchgerald, Mules Davis and Duck Ellington. An added bonus at the end of the story are descriptions of the jazz legends on which these characters are based. Highly recomimend!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.