Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band

( 1 )

Overview

When a jazz-loving rooster sets his sights on winning a barnyard talent show, he realizes he can't do it as a solo act. He's up against the talents of Mules Davis's cool duo and Ella Finchgerald's singing group. Acoustic Rooster calls on friends like pianist Duck Ellington, singer Bee Holiday, and percussionist piggy Pepe Ernesto Cruz. Together, the foursome makes beautiful music as they rock the barnyard. And while they may not win first prize, Acoustic Rooster realizes he has the world's best jazz band and ...
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Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band

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Overview

When a jazz-loving rooster sets his sights on winning a barnyard talent show, he realizes he can't do it as a solo act. He's up against the talents of Mules Davis's cool duo and Ella Finchgerald's singing group. Acoustic Rooster calls on friends like pianist Duck Ellington, singer Bee Holiday, and percussionist piggy Pepe Ernesto Cruz. Together, the foursome makes beautiful music as they rock the barnyard. And while they may not win first prize, Acoustic Rooster realizes he has the world's best jazz band and that's all that matters. Colorful artwork from artist Tim Bowers (Memoirs of a Goldfish) ensures this story doesn't miss a beat. A glossary of musical terms and instruments rounds out this perfect introduction to jazz for young readers. Kwame Alexander is a poet, publisher, and an award-winning producer of literary programs. He has written for television, the stage, and authored 13 books. He conducts writing/publishing workshops at schools and conferences throughout the country. Kwame lives in the Washington, D.C. area. Tim Bowers has illustrated more than 25 children's books, garnering such awards as the Chicago Public Library's "Best of the Best" list. His work for Sleeping Bear includes First Dog and First Dog's White House Christmas. Tim lives in Granville, Ohio.
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  • Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band
    Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band  

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Acoustic Rooster practiced jazz all summer long on his bass guitar with the aim of winning the annual Barnyard Talent Show. He put together his own jazz band and they performed a classy bossa nova tune that made the barnyard chickies swoon. But he was no match for the bebop horn of Mules Davis or the dulcet tones of Ella Finchgerald. The first prize went to Mules and a teary-eyed Rooster took second place. Rooster did not head home unhappy, however, because Mules dubbed his band the world's best. The message that winning isn't everything comes in loud and clear in this clever and funny tale. Unfortunately the jokes and plays on names will be over the heads of the intended audience. Adults sharing in the reading will find plenty to elicit chuckles. An appended Jazz Timeline helps put the musical genre and some of its leading musicians into perspective. Watercolor illustrations are filled with energy and humor. One minor quibble is that the verse does not always scan well. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—This delightful picture book explores the rich history of jazz via a story about a guitar-playing rooster who sets out to compete in the annual Barnyard Talent Show to find the farm's best band. Rooster would like to join Thelonius Monkey's crew, but the rules don't permit zoo animals. Ella Finchgerald has a trio, but Rooster doesn't scat. He decides to form his own band. "So, he went to see his cousin,/a pianist of great fame./And found him on the riverbank./Duck Ellington's his name." Duck, in top hat and bow tie, takes Rooster to the famed Cotton Club to hear Bee Holiday and other jazzy animals perform. Although the barnyard chicks "swoon" when Rooster's group plays The Hen from Ipanema, not even an encore in "grand finale style" wins the band first prize. Still, shades-wearing Mules Davis's comment, "That Rooster sure can play," leads to a satisfying ending. The large illustrations are done in bold colors and have humorous, jazzy details. Notes on "Musicians, Characters, and Music" are included in the back matter. Children who enjoyed Jarrett J. Krosoczka's Punk Farm (Knopf, 2005) will be taken with this one.—Keisha M. Miller, South Orange Public Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews

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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585366880
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
  • Publication date: 8/22/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 461,184
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, publisher, and an award-winning producer of literary programs. He has written for television, the stage, and authored 13 books. He conducts writing/publishing workshops at schools, and conferences throughout the country. Kawame lives in the Washingtion D.C. area.

Tim Bowers has illustrated more than 25 children's books, garnering such awards as the Chicago Public Library's "Best of the Best" list. His work for Sleeping Bear Press includes First Dog, and First Dog's White House Christmas. Tim lives in Granville, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 15, 2012

    GREAT book for all ages

    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!

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