Groovy Joe the hip hound dog is back for a sequel, following up on his first musical adventure, Ice Cream and Dinosaurs (2016).
This time Joe and his squirrel sidekick are hosting a disco dance party, with more and more dogs knocking at their door and joining the jam session with their own instruments. The canine entrances seem to be set up as knock-knock jokes, but there are no subsequent punch lines (or the anticipated humor of a funny answer). Each additional grouping of dogs is summarized as a number sentence that is reinforced in the text, with large, hand-lettered type repeating “Disco Party Bow-Wow!” as a refrain. The conclusion offers an invitation to readers to join the party, as there’s always room for more guests. Bold illustrations show the canines cavorting at the party, playing various instruments, and the groups of animals can be counted to match the number sentences that serve as the obvious teaching point of the story (there is no actual plot). The dogs all appear to be male, except (probably) for a pink poodle with a green bow who plays the violin. A musical version of the story can be downloaded at the publisher’s website, and the story might be fun when sung and acted out. Sticklers may object to ungrammatical constructions in the text that reflect the casual nature of the writing style: “Two dogs in the room means less space for Joe”; “Joe invited who?”
Trying hard does not equal funny (or groovy). (Picture book. 4-8)