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Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band Hardcover – August 22, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Nominated for the 43rd Annual NAACP Image Awards in the category "Outstanding Literary Work - Children."

From Booklist

Acoustic Rooster hopes to win the Barnyard Talent Show. But first he needs a band. Turned away by Thelonius Monkey, Mules Davis, and Ella Finchgerald, he starts his own jazz band with Duck Ellington, Bee Holiday, and Poncho Ernesto Cruz. Focusing on the performers, anthropomorphic animals who bear resemblance to the real-life musicians in small details (Duck’s top hat, Bee’s flower in her hair), Bowers’ illustrations cleverly fade everything outside of the spotlight to shades of gray. Rooster cries when he comes in second to Mules Davis, but he heads proudly back to the coop when he garners the trumpeter’s praise. Although the jazz allusions (explained in an afterword) will fly right over young readers’ heads, kids will enjoy the notion of the contest. Despite some clunky rhythms, this may be a hit for storytime, accompanied by the real-deal music. Pair this up with Chris Raschka’s Mysterious Thelonious (1997) and Andrea Davis Pinkney’s Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra (1998) and Ella Fitzgerald: Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa (2002) . Grades 1-3. --Patricia Austin
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (August 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585366889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585366880
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mayfayre TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The book is aimed at grade K and up, but it was my almost-4 year old nephew who grabbed the book to read rather than his older sister. He loves music so he was drawn to all the images of musical instruments in book. The play on the names of the jazz greats means nothing to him, of course, but I thought they were cute. He enjoyed the rhyming sound of the text, and calls the book "Koostic Rooster".

I liked that the author reinforced what the jazz terms were by providing a glossary at the end of the book. I think that will be helpful to older children, though unless they hear the actual music, I don't think the musical terms like "scat" are going to mean that much to them.

The graphics were gorgeous in the book, covering the pages with images and color, making the book eye-catching. My only complaint, and this is because I know from observation that it's something that little kids enjoy in books, is that there are no - for want of a better term - subplots to the images. You get the straight scene and that's it, with no secondary or tertiary characters doing anything in the background (e.g. two mice in a jazz club sitting at a table with one giving the other a rose). When reading books to little kids, those tiny little scenes help to create a better sense of place in stories and sometimes are the things that pique their interest in the graphics more, not to mention giving jump-off points to the adult reading the story to them to elaborate on, providing a greater depth to the scene and text.

The book is sturdy so it should hold up for years. I liked that the topic was about jazz because I think that it's important for kids to learn about and be exposed to all types of music to broaden their appreciation of it. It's a good book and I would recommend it to any parent whose child likes either music or animals.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band" by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Tim Bowers is a brightly colored, upbeat and engaging book that any child age 3-6 would like to add to their book library and read over and over. But the "Acoustic Rooster's Jazz Glossary" added to list of famous jazz players, places and music with a snippet of info about each and the jazz timeline add a whole new dimension and worth to the book. The age grouping for readers can be expanded with these addtions. The person reading can suppliment the book with a jazz CD and an opportunity is opened to acquaint children with jazz through playing an actual song or two that illustrates what Acoustic Rooster is talking about in the book - jazzy riff, a boosa nova, swing. This book could be a child's 1st taste of different kinds of music and how each makes you feel and it is all delivered in a cute little story!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As Acoustic Rooster finds his band, the reader is taken happily along. It's interesting--in a great way--that hs didn't win the talent show, but he had a really good time. The reader does, too.

The artwork is terrific. I wish it had ALL been in vivid color, but I can see how how putting parts of the pages in shadow emphasizes the focus. It is also a lot like the atmosphere of musicians. There is area that is highly lighted and area that is not.

The glossaries are highly educational and make the book very useable for giving new knowledge to young and older about jazz.

It is a beautiful book, and definitely makes me smile!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My grandsons, four and six, are learning guitar and both boys love animals so this was an instant hit with both of them. The colorful pictures were a big draw and they liked the rhyming text. They didn't know the jazz greats alluded to in the text but it didn't detract from a fun read for them. I would recommend it for youngsters interested in music and animals.
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Format: Hardcover
Acoustic Rooster is a good read, even for adults. The characters names' are amusing and hail from jazz legends. This offers a great opportunity to teach your child about jazz, it's history and to get them interested in this music genre. The message of the story is a good one as well, teaching children to strive for what they wish to do, not to give up and that it's okay not to come in first all the time. Great book!
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Format: Hardcover
Kids will love all the jazzy characters in this story, brought to life with Alexander's lively rhymes and Bower's funky artwork. Educators and parents will love the play on names (Bee Holiday, Mules Davis...) and the addition of the thorough glossary and historical jazz timeline. And all readers will find themselves in Rooster, who learns there's more to winning than taking home the prize.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a great book with lots of great pictures and a cute rhyme that runs throughout the book. My son loved the pictures and we have had many discussions about what we see and the different animals. The book is well made and has coped well with my four year old turning the pages.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I Received this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program.

This is one excellent picture book for kids to learn about music and instruments.

My son loved it. It is a story about a rooster who has a band and he entered
a contest on their farm.

Cute characters and cute story about following your dreams.

Highly recommend it.
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