cover image Punk Farm

Punk Farm

Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Knopf, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-375-82429-6

After Farmer Joe finishes his chores and heads off to bed, the quintet Punk Farm gets ready for an after-hours barnstormer. "Cow sets up her drums. Pig plugs in his amp. Chicken sets up her keyboards. Goat tunes his bass. Sheep checks the microphone." The animals cringe when feedback squeals from the mic, but luckily Farmer Joe doesn't hear. Chickens, cats and other locals line up for admission, and a horse in Ray-Bans stamps their wings and paws with ultraviolet ink. Then the band takes the stage in a dry-ice fog and belts out—what else?—"Old MacDonald," with solo performances for each musician (Pig grimaces and twists the electric guitar strings "with a ray roo here/ and a ray ree there"). Krosoczka's (Baghead ) soft-edged paintings imply the band's mock-tough stance, and some of the funniest material winds up in the end pages, which include collages of torn ticket stubs, scrawled set lists and flyers. In black-and-white press photos, the band members pose on the quaint farmhouse porch or in a pickup truck; Chicken's pointy comb and retro striped tie have an '80s flair, Goat's horns and goatee lend an alterna-pop look and Cow's crewcut-shaped black spot and thick neck chain (for her bell) suggest a hardcore edge. This will amuse parents at least as much as their progeny. Ages 5-8. (May)