Ok. I liked Punk Farm. I thought it was really funny, and very creative. I read this book with great gusto, performing the song in the book like a punk band would, like I thought the author intended it to be read. I was rocking out, screeching, making instrument sounds, just going nuts with the text, because it's about a rock and roll band called Punk Farm performing a hit song to a sold out barn! I mean, come on, you have to do a concert when you read this book, and it was *fun* to read! I got to the end of the set, bellowed out the ending, "THANK YOU, WISCONSIN," and grinning from ear to ear, I turned around and looked at the kids sitting the back seat of the car. I was expecting to hear an enthusiastic "ENCORE," or at least light applause.
Chirp, chirp, chirp.... Yeah, the spotlight can dazzle you. I looked at my nephew and he was looking back at me like my butter had slid right off my biscuit. His cookie was in his left hand, and his arm was raised part way to his mouth, which was hanging open, but that cookie was frozen en route to its destination.
I looked over at my niece and she stared back at me wide-eyed for about 10 seconds. Then she said, "Uh, that wasn't a true story, was it?" I just busted out laughing, and I said to the kids, "You guys think that Auntie's lost her marbles, don't you?" My nephew said, "Yeah. That was really weird," and my niece just laughed at me.
Ok, so musical performance is best left to the professionals. Unfortunately, I think that my interpretation of Punk Farm probably ruined the story for the kids. I don't know if there's really much actual story there to begin with (it's mostly just Old MacDonald Had a Farm), but the idea is fun, and in the right hands this could probably be something well liked by a kid (music teachers, give it a try--you could probably come up with something great and fun). I promise that my niece and nephew will never forget this book, but I doubt they'll ever want it to fall into my hands again. I just can't fairly rate Punk Farm because the kids' reactions were based on my singing performance. And no book should ever suffer the rating my singing warrants.