Rock Star Recess (Patrick Baggatta)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Rock Star Recess, written by Patrick Baggatta and illustrated by Emily Mullock, a rock n’ roll lifestyle parody about focusing on fundamentals.

After a tedious elementary school music class, friends Elsie, Lizzy, and Luke decide to shake things up by performing a live rock show at the end of recess. With only 30 minutes to spare, the three quickly form a 3-man band – The Rebells – and set about getting everything ready for a pulse-pounding, foot-stomping performance. They start to practice, but quickly get distracted by other rock star responsibilities: signing autographs, hiring a security team, eating lavish meals, and setting up an explosive stage show. Getting into the rock star life, they feel ready to perform. Except, they’ve made one small oversight: they never practiced any songs! With a hyped-up crowd and their band’s name on the line, how will the trio get out of this conundrum?

Funny, plus a pretty good message. For audiences young and old, it’s really enjoyable to watch the kids get more and more wrapped up in a sanitized version of the rock star lifestyle that they forgot to actually, you know, write and practice any songs. It’s a subtle lesson in starting with the fundamentals of a thing, and it’s the kid’s “boring” classical music knowledge that ends up saving the day. There are some cute jokes aimed at adult readers, too, such as the little rock stars having ultra-specific food demands. The illustrations are incredibly colorful and packed with detail, and both the main and background characters represent a nice diversity of skintones and hair types. The length is fine for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed it. Overall, a fine and fun read for little rockers, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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