by Kwame Alexander (Author) Tim Bowers (Illustrator)
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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., MACopyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
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.