Monday, May 14, 2012

Bawk and Roll, by Tammi Sauer and Dan Santat - let's shake a little tail feather! (ages 5 - 9)

Kids love books that make them laugh, and older kids love books with puns, jokes and goofy action. But they also want a story arc to a book, a bigger feeling, a reason to read the story. You'll get all this and more in Bawk & Roll, the newest book by the crooning duo Tammi Sauer and Dan Santat.
Bawk & Roll
by Tammi Sauer
illustrated by Dan Santat
NY: Sterling, 2012
ages 5 - 9
available at your local library, my favorite bookstore, and on Amazon
Marge and Lola can't believe how their dreams have come true. Superstar singer Elvis Poultry has asked them to be backup singers on his rock and roll tour. Their chicken dance rocked the house at the talent show in Sauer and Santat's previous book, Chicken Dance. But when the lights come on and Elvis parades in front of the cheering crowd, stage fright strikes - these chickens get cold feet.

Marge and Lola are down for the count and are sure nothing can help them. At each new venue, they try something new to calm their nerves, but nothing works! What are a pair of nervous hens to do?

But then, they realize they're missing the most important thing of all - the support of their friends. So "the chickens crossed the road" (to mail a letter) and invite their barnyard friends to the next concert. As the concert starts, everyone is cheering for Elvis. But then they hear, "We love you, chickens! ... Let's see your mooooooooves!" Thrilled with the audience's support, Elvis immediately comes up with a new hit song: "Blue Moooooooo" - Marge and Lola are thrilled.

Kids love the fast pace, the constant puns and dynamic illustrations. Sauer layers the puns and jokes liberally, and while many refer to Elvis, not all do. Kids will laugh at imagining the audience in their tightie whities and watching Elvis parachute onto the stage. Santat's vibrant illustrations, full of Vegas showbiz costumes and buffoonery, automatically draw kids to this story, but it's his details and unique perspectives that keep them coming back again and again. Just look at this back cover, modeled off an old record jacket.

While this is a sequel to Sauer and Santat's Chicken Dance, you can have fun with it as a stand-alone or as a companion. If you like this, you'll certainly love Jarrett Krosoczka's Punk Farm and Punk Farm on Tour.

Tammi Sauer and Dan Santat certainly jive well together, each having plenty of fun. Don't you love the photos they took for the jacket flap? They both have a pile of books being published this year with other amazing authors and illustrators.

Tammi Sauer is coming out with: Me Want a Pet!, illustrated by Bob Shea; Oh Nuts!, illustrated by Dan Krall; The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oklahoma, illustrated by Victoria Hutto; and Princess in Training, illustrated by Joe Berger (bold titles are forthcoming later this year, other links are to Amazon).

Dan Santat is the author/illustrator of the wildly popular Sidekicks graphic novel (one of the most popular books in our school library). He also has a stack of books being published in 2012: Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomberos, a picture book written by Susan Middleton Elya; Dog in Charge, written by K.L. Going; Oh No! Not Again!: (Or How I Built a Time Machine to save History) (Or at Least My History Grade), written by Mac Barnett; Kel Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show, written by Michael Buckley; and The Three Ninja Pigs, written by Corey Rosen Schwartz. (bold titles are forthcoming later this year, other links are to Amazon) 

For other reviews of Bawk and Roll, see Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, PinkMe and the Jean Little Library.

The review copy was kindly sent by Dan Santat and the publishers, Sterling Children's Books. Dan was a member of the Cybils Book App committee which I chaired. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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