By Terri Schlichenmeyer
Uh-oh! Everybody’s watching.
They’re all looking at you and now what? Your voice won’t work when all eyes are pointed your way. You can’t sing like that, can’t say your lines, so how can you play your part? You can barely even move when everybody’s watching, so try this: sleep on it. In the new book “Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie Starring Indigo Blume” by Kwame Alexander, pictures by Tim Bowers, that might work.
As she helped clean up the park near her house, Indigo Blume was a happy girl. The Garden City Community Festival would be held soon and she was going to sing for the Festival. It was exciting – until it wasn’t.
Her friend, Elijah, said that the whole school was coming to hear Indigo sing! Mr. Woody said he saw posters everywhere, and Samantha said that hundreds of people would probably come. Nooooooooope, that was too much for Indigo.
Her mom said that Indigo was “the bravest songbird” she knew.
Indigo’s dad said she should, “Be brave. Be a star. Believe.”
As Indigo went to bed that night, she couldn’t believe how scared she was. Still, she managed to fall asleep and she fell into…. a barn! It was Acoustic Rooster’s barn and his band members were all there. She loved his book. She loved Acoustic Rooster; his band could play anything! So there she was, and even though Chickee Minaj said it was “a closed rehearsal,” Acoustic Rooster gave Indigo a tambourine.
But then a “hurritrain” came and blew everything all over. The barn was scrambled, it was a mess, but Indigo remembered how her neighbors cleaned up the park, so she suggested that Acoustic Rooster’s band members clean up their area. In fact, maybe it was a good time to have a “Barnyard Boogie” benefit concert.
And it might have been, if Dairy Parton hadn’t lost her voice and Duck Ellington hadn’t quacked up. In that case, somebody had to be brave. Someone needed to be courageous. Someone had to be a star…
Chances are you’ve seen videos or TV shows featuring young performers that’ve blown your socks off. Believe it or not, at some point in their lives, chances are they’ve had stage fright. It happens to children of all ages, making, “Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie Starring Indigo Blume” a perfect read.
Kids who live to make music and dance but hate the pressure will love the story here because there’s not a shred of outside push inside this book. Instead, author Kwame Alexander lets his main character shine because of a dream-sequence she had, which leads to a satisfying ending that she already owned. This makes young readers smile, and parents confident in an easily-absorbed lesson; add colorful, happy illustrations from Tom Bowers and you’ve got a book that’ll make kids and parents both sing.
Based on the Kennedy Center Musical, this is a great confidence booster for kids ages 5-8, especially the occasionally cold-footed performer. They’ll crow about “Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie Starring Indigo Blume, just watch.