Acoustic Rooster's Barnyard Boogie Starring Indigo Blume

by Kwame Alexander (Author) Tim Bowers (Illustrator)

Acoustic Rooster's Barnyard Boogie Starring Indigo Blume
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
On the eve of singing at a community festival, a bout of stage fright threatens a little girl's confidence. As Indigo Blume drifts off to sleep, she isn't sure she's brave enough to take the stage. But once she falls asleep, Indigo finds herself in a dream world with the characters of her favorite book, Acoustic Rooster and his Barnyard Band. The band's members, including Miss Dairy Parton and Chickee Minaj, are rehearsing, and they invite Indigo to join the group. But when a storm destroys their barn, the animals are left with almost nothing. Can Indigo rally the band to work together and save their home? And will she find her voice in time for the festival?
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School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2--A young girl named Indigo Blume is nervous about singing in front of a large crowd. After her mother sings her to sleep, Indigo wakes up inside her favorite book. She meets a talking animal band led by a fowl named Acoustic Rooster. After the barn is destroyed, Indigo organizes a concert to raise funds for rebuilding. When she wakes up, she has the courage to perform her solo. Like Dorothy returning from Oz, Indigo wonders if Acoustic Rooster and pals were real. Indigo's anxiety is subtly conveyed. The more she worries, the larger the crowd grows in her mind: first hundreds, then thousands, then millions of people. Characters sometimes sing their lines of dialogue, indicated by music notes around word bubbles. Song lyrics are either expository or encouraging platitudes. Characters sing only a line or two at a time, requiring readers to create their own melody and rhythm. Acoustic Rooster's band members have names that salute actual musicians, such as Dairy Parton, Chickee Minaj, Duck Ellington, and Mules Davis on trumpet. VERDICT Many characters who sporadically burst into song could make this a challenging read-aloud. Recommended for independent reading or one-on-one sharing with a child who needs a self-esteem boost and likes jazz and/or farm animals.--Chance Lee Joyner, Haverhill P.L., MA

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Two of Alexander's eponymous heroes star in this musical crossover celebration. Happy to contribute to her community but suffering cold feet at the prospect of headlining the Garden City Community Festival, Indigo dreams herself into the swinging barnyard of Acoustic Rooster and his punny-named musical friends. When a sudden storm demolishes the barn, Indigo proves her mettle twice over by organizing a benefit concert and stepping in for the ailing Dairy Parton ("the diva is hoarse... even though she is a cow")--and wakes ready to rock the house. Published to accompany a children's show slated for the Kennedy Center, the book stands a little unsteady in its own right, with a creaky story, skimpy characterization, and dialogue that mostly seeks to set up lyrics. Bowers, however, is all in, with exuberant illustrations that have the cast jumping and jiving; if readers can conjure up melodies in their minds, they'll be bopping right along. Ages 6-8. (Aug.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, publisher, and New York Times bestselling author of 35 books, including the Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor-winning picture book The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, the Newbery medal-winning novel, The Crossover (an Emmy-winning TV series on Disney plus), and Becoming Muhammad Ali, co-authored with James Patterson. He is also a regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition. He invites you to visit him at

Dare Coulter (she/her) is an award-winning artist, muralist, and sculptor whose primary artistic objective is to create positive imagery of black people and families. She received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration for her art in An American Story. She lives in North Carolina but intends to have a global presence by installing sculptures depicting black joy around the world. She invites you to visit her at and can be found on Instagram and Twitter @darecoulter.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Sleeping Bear Press
Publication date
August 15, 2020
BISAC categories
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV002090 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Farm Animals
JUV039140 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
JUV031040 - Juvenile Fiction | Performing Arts | Music
Library of Congress categories
Domestic animals
Stage fright

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