With words by TFIA and playfully sophisticated illustrations by Stephane Jorisch, My Name Is Chicken Joe tells the tale of animals who defy their rather peculiar names. The book asks the question "What's in a name?" by introducing readers to a dog named Miss Kitty, a mule named Mister, King Kong the bird and Chicken Joe the cat, of course. The bigger lesson goes far beyond our given moniker, what does it mean to be a "Jeff" anyway?, but rather, Chicken Joe reminds us and our kids to challenge perception and resist stereotypes. It's not quite "A Boy Named Sue". Trout Fishing manage to convey their point without fisticuffs.
It won't surprise Trout Fishing fans that the title song (the lyrics of which comprise the words to the book) features warm acoustic tones and a catchy sing-a-long chorus. Chicken Joe could easily be added, into heavy rotation, on any Adult Album Alternative radio station. It's one of my favorite songs of the year so far. The other 10 songs aren't on the Chicken Joe topic but are equally witty lyrically and pleasant musically. The book's characters are, however, tied to the remainder of the music as Joe and the rest of the cast appear on what amounts to liner notes on subsequent pages at the end of the book. Any excuse to showcase more of Stephane Jorisch's work is fine by me!
Check out the My Name Is Chicken Joe moving storybook/music video:
While the story of Chicken Joe and the rest of the tunes, especially "Something Sweet", "Why I Pack My Lunch" and "My Best Day", with it's "snowing whip cream and raining chocolate" hook, are terrific, it's Jorisch's drawings that make My Name Is Chicken Joe an outstanding effort. I cannot recommend picking up the My Name Is Chicken Joe book & audio CD enough. Your family will love the story, cherish the pictures and dance to the over-30 minutes of original upbeat folk music included here.
TIFA are always on the road...try to catch 'em live this Spring/Summer!
Trout Fishing in America 2009 Family Concert Tour Dates (click here for an always up-to-date calendar):
April 18 Free Library of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA
April 24 Uptown Theater Grand Prairie, TX
April 25 Duck Jam at Lake Bryan Bryan, TX
April 26 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival New Orleans, LA
April 30 Flickinger Center of Performing Arts Alamogordo, NM
May 2 Northwest Arkansas Mall Fayetteville, AR
May 10 Hancher Auditorium Iowa City, IA
May 15-16 Rosewood Center for Family Arts Dallas, TX
May 22-23 Riverfest Little Rock, AR
May 24 Jiggle Jam Kansas City, MO
May 30-31 Kerrville Folk Festival Kerrville, TX
June 21-28 Alaskan Cruise Various Cities
August 8-9 J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles, CA