It was an exciting moment for me when I saw that the selection for the Library of Michigan’s “Michigan Reads! One State, One Children’s Book” program for the 2014 year was from one of our favorite publishers, Sleeping Bear Press! If you have not already seen the announcement, this year’s selection for the statewide reading program is Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Tim Bowen.
Not knowing what to expect when my girls and I first read Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band I was impressed to see that the book was not only entertaining, but educational. Throughout the book the Acoustic Rooster introduces children to various important entertainers as well as terminology related to the history of Jazz music.
In the back of the book you can find “Acoustic Rooster’s Jazz Glossary” as well as a “Musicians, Characters, and Music” section that includes explanations of what real life musicians certain characters from the book portrayed as well as other fun info. My 6-year-old even sat through a complete reading of the “Acoustic Rooster’s Jazz Timeline.”
Thanks to my eclectic music tastes the girls have already been exposed to some of the artists referenced in the book and it was fun for them to learn the different Jazz terms that they weren’t already familiar with. The antics of Acoustic Rooster trying to build his Barnyard Band gave us some more great Jazz musicians to add to our favorite playlists!
As part of the Michigan Reads! program libraries and schools across the state of Michigan will be promoting early childhood literacy and pre-reading readiness through different programming, events, and author visits. Last week I checked our local public library’s website and was pleased to see that Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band took up the majority of the homepage as they promoted their upcoming book reading and special children’s program for the book!
Whether you live in Michigan or not, this book is a great way to introduce children to some Jazz history. The pairing of the poetry and rhythm of the engaging story and the colorful and friendly looking illustrations easily a hit with kids.
Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band :: $15.95 hardcover
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