Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer and Dan Santat

Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Copyright 2009
Sterling Children's Books - Ages 4-9
36 pages

Marge and Lola took one look at the poster on the barn door and almost lost their cluck.

How's that for an opening sentence? Chicken Dance is about two chickens who want to win the barnyard talent contest for the chance to see Elvis Poultry in concert. But, first they have to find a talent and summon the courage to ignore the heckling ducks who tell them:

"Don't bother, drumsticks."
"Ducks win every year."
"All a chicken can do is bawk, flap, and shake."

Of course, now you can't help but root for the chickens because there's nothing more annoying than a bunch of bullies. The chickens try out all kinds of different things, hoping they'll latch onto a special talent and experiencing nothing a lot of slapstick failures (which are excessively cute -- I love that part of the book). They still haven't found a talent by show time. They watch pigs form a pyramid, goats eat a tractor and cows jump over the moon. They're not sure what to do when they head on-stage, but then the ducks start to heckle, again, and:

More! More! More! the crowd chanted.
Marge and Lola looked at each other.
"But we're just doing regular chicken stuff," Marge whispered.
"Regular chicken stuff? Now that's talent!" Lola grabbed a mike.
"Let's bawk and roll!"

They do their chicken thing and score lower than the ducks, but . . . Elvis Poultry is in the building and he thinks they rock. The book ends with a poster similar to the opening poster announcing the talent contest, this time an announcement for "The Big Bawk-Ba-Gawk" starring Elvis Poultry and The Chicken Dancers.

What a fun book. I don't know if I can even bear to send this one to my sister-in-law, I like it so much.

5+++/5 - Funny illustrations and story, excellent for reading aloud and I can imagine kids will love the triumphant ending as much as the cat and I did.

This is part 3 of 3 books I read for Children's Book Day at Bookfoolery & Babble. I enjoyed them all, but Chicken Dance is my favorite because it makes me want to hunt down some little kids just to read aloud.

Many thanks to Sterling Books for the chance to read and review Chicken Dance!


  1. Love the cover on this one! Alas, my kids are too old for this one. No more fun stuff like Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? for me, LOL!

  2. Janel,

    I know, me too. My kids are 24 and 17, but I have a weakness for children's books and reviewing is a great excuse to read a few (even if I feel obligated to pass them on to someone with little ones).

  3. Lucky me - my kids are all grown, too but I do have 2 grandchildren that live through the back gate. This sounds like it will provoke lots of good laughter when I read it to them.

    Thanks, Bookfool, for that delightful review. I smiling BIG!

  4. Well, bawk-bawk-ba-GAWK!

    Thanks for the awesome review. :)

    Tammi Sauer

  5. I can just picture you and the cat reading together! I love the cover of this book!

  6. Booklogged,

    Unfair. I need grandchildren through the back gate (and, a back gate would be nice -- we have no fence). Chicken Dance is so fun. I'm sure you'll have a great time reading it to the grandkids!

    Thanks for telling me your review made me smile. That makes me happy all under. :)


    Bawk-bawk-ba-gawk! You're welcome! Thanks for writing such a terrific story!


    I don't know what I'd do without a cat to read to, now that the kids are older! The rest of the book is even cuter than the cover, but that's a great cover, isn't it?


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