I just got my copy of the latest installment from #1 best-selling author Eric Litwin, of the early Pete the Cat and the Nut Family fame. This one is called Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown.
I get to review Litwin's books as one of his Groovy Bloggers. This is the second Groovy Joe book, following Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs.
(That's a lot of Groovy)
|I didn't draw this one. This is by Tom Lichtenheld|
The new book follows the familiar format of the previous Litwin books: the character is enjoying life through song, then encounters some sort of adversity (in this case, new dogs keep showing up at the door to party when he doesn't have much room left--oh, no!). There's a moment where we wonder if this adversity will ruin the day... but, Goodness no! The character shows a positive/generous outlook and keeps on walking along/singing/dancing. The predictable style makes it easy for kids to get into right away, and easy for them to pick up later and read out loud to themselves (even if they're not quite reading yet).
As always, the new story includes the elements that draw kids in; music, rhyme, repetition, call-and-response and even a bit of math reminiscent of Pete the Cat's Groovy Buttons book. How many dogs are there now, we're asked? And, of course, Groovy Joe is a kind fella who welcomes anyone who wants to join the party, which is a positive message for kids, too.
This time, the book includes the format of knock-knock jokes, which is right up a kid's alley.
One more dog is going to disco with you.
DISCO PARTY! BOW WOW! (Come on, you're not too dignified to belt it out)
As always, one of the first things I do (and recommend) is look up the story online so we can hear the accompanying performance and get the full experience. There are also live retellings on YouTube. Litwin's books are essentially live performances in book form (and he does give a fun live performance. Come back to Canada, Mr. Eric!).
Not necessarily recommended as a bedtime book, for obvious reasons. But if I were still teaching Kindergarten, no doubt it would be in my collection.