Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Sterling Children's Books - Ages 4-9
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:
They BAWKED. They FLAPPED. They SHOOK.
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!