Monday, April 23, 2012

Stage Flight Fright: Bawk & Roll by Tammi Sauer

Elvis Poultry lowered his shades. "C'mon, chicks! Let's roll!"

Their first stop on the tour is McDoodle's Barnyard.

Elvis Poultry and the Chicken Dancers took the stage. The lights went down. The barnyard went wild.

"WOAH!" said Lola. "We don't know anyone!"

The chickens trembled. They fanned their wattles.

They ... fainted!

These hot, hard-rockin' hens have passed their audition, but their first appearance on tour lays an egg. Their gig at McDoodle's is a dud.

The Chicken Dancers psych themselves up to do better at their next venue by agreeing to visualize the fans in their underwear. But stage fright freezes these hot fryers again. The Daily Cluck's headline crows:


Marge and Lola try everything they can come up with to revive their pluck. Elvis tries to take the spotlight off them by having them all parachute onto the stage, but the chickens' entrance is a crash landing.

The hens try relaxation techniques--painting, bubble baths, hypnotism, yoga meditation, even knitting--but all to no avail. Stage fright threatens to send these hot chicks back to the freezer. Elvis gives them one last chance--a booking at Dale's Dairy Farm-or they'll soon be backing up the cock-a-doodle boys in their own coop.

And then Marge and Lois bird-brainstorm up an idea that might just save their act. The chickens cross the road--to post a special delivery letter back to their feathered friends. Will their plan work?

The Chicken Dancers are ditzy as they peer through the curtains. The house lights reveals a tough crowd of hefty Holsteins.

"This doesn't look good," said Lois. "We're going to get moooo-ed."

But in that cow crowd the Chicken Dancers hear some familiar voices from home cheering them on.

"They got our letter!" whispered Lola.


In their long-awaited return engagement, Tammi Sauer's and Dan Santat's Bawk & Roll (Chicken Dance) (Sterling, 2012), those high-stepping hens back up their rockin' rooster at last in a rousing sequel to their opener, Chicken Dance (Sterling Books) (see my review here) in another poultry parody that will definitely crack up the kids. Sauer's puns are sharp as a beak, and Santat's visual wit is well tuned in this hard-boiled rockin' tale.

"Another tongue-in-beak tale from Sauer and Santat," cackles School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews crows, "This flock rocks!"

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