Starred Review. The creative team that so cleverly presented musical theater for kids with the star-studded recording Philadelphia Chickens is back this time with a mostly rock-and-roll romp, and another stellar cast of musical talent. Blues Traveler, replete with John Popper wailing on his harmonica, rides the rails for the driving title track about, yes, dogs on board a midnight train where “Kittycats are not allowed…their ears in the breeze…Their cold, wet, happy,/ quiv’ring noises outside.” Mark Lanegan takes the octave down a few notches with his deep and bluesy rendition of “Sneakers” about the favorite footwear that’s both comfy and quiet. The 1960s British invasion star Billy J. Kramer sounds every bit up-to-date as he blasts off on the spaceship song “Cow Planet.” And who would’ve thunk that actress Kate Winslet and novelty performer “Weird Al” Yankovic could pull off a sunny and theatrically emotive duet on “I Need a Nap?” There are no clunkers here; other highlights include numbers by Alison Krauss, Spin Doctors, Hootie and the Blowfish and Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme (hilariously singing the “Boring Song”). A knockout listen, in all the best ways, for the whole family. Like the songs, Boynton’s book showcases her signature zippy sense of humor and loveable critters. It also includes complete lyrics and music for each number and brief profiles of all the performers. –Publishers’ Weekly
About the Author
Sandra Boynton is a popular American cartoonist, writer, and songwriter. Since 1974, Boynton has written and illustrated over forty children’s books and seven general audience books, including four New York Times bestsellers. More than 60 million of her books have been sold—“mostly to friends and family,” she says. She has also written and produced five albums of award-winning children’s music. Three of her albums have been certified Gold, and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, has gone Platinum. She lives with her family on a farm in New England.
Michael Ford, Sandra Boynton’s esteemed collaborator on Philadelphia Chickens and Rhinoceros Tap, is a classically trained composer and pianist, with a long detour in Progressive Rock performance. He and his family live down the road a spell from Sandy.