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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jewel of a Book Review of Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer

By Tammi Sauer
ISBN-13: 9781402753664, 2009
Fiction: Juvenile, Picture Book, Talent Show
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Co, Inc.: NY; $14.95
Author site: Tammi Sauer

Sauer and Santat portray memorable characters in an entertaining barnyard production starring Marge and Lola, who hang out together where Elvis Poultry is top bird. The two best friend chicks almost lose their cluck when they read the Barnyard Talent Show poster. The grand prize is two tickets to the final multitalented doodle doo of the season. Lola and Marge set out to snag the prize, but first they have to test their talents and score higher than the other animals in the barnyard.

What I liked best about Chicken Dance was its humor in text and illustrations, which made it easy to keep the attention of a kindergartener and for them to identify with the characters. For instance, when Lola and Marge tried to swim the kindergartener laughed and said they had sunk like the chickens once.

A minor downside to the story is when improper expressions are used in a scene where the chicken friends are called a name, “Drumsticks” and the use of the word “losers.” If the expressions were not used it doesn’t appear to this reviewer to take away from the story.

Chicken Dance is appropriate for the early elementary grade reader. Parents and teachers can glean themes from reading this book for further discussion like friendship, name calling, favorite music, sportsmanship, diversity in abilities, what do farm animals really do or farm animal jokes.

Reviewed by Jewel Sample--Award-winning author of Flying Hugs and Kisses. To learn more about Jewel Sample visit her at

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