A Little Chicken (Tammi Sauer)

Hello, friends! Our book today is A Little Chicken, written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Taylor, a sweet look at what it means to be brave.

Dot is a little chicken who is, well… a little chicken. She’s scared of lots of things, like bears and wolves and creepy lawn gnomes. She’s tried to be brave, but the courageous spirit just seems to elude her. That is until the day that one of her soon-to-be siblings (in egg form) rolls out of the coop and toward the deep dark woods. Dot responds on instinct alone, chasing after the egg over hill and dale, and rushing right past everything that scares her to save the day. With a new little sister to spend time with, Dot finds that she’s still a little bit chicken, but that doesn’t make her any less a hero.

Cute! With brightly-colored, dynamic illustrations and simple yet engaging story, Dot’s tale does a great job of distinguishing for children the difference between being brave and being fearless. By the end, Dot is no less frightened of her phobias (and honestly, I’m with her on the lawn gnomes), but she knows that when push comes to shove, she has it in her to be brave, and that’s enough. It’s a good way of showing that it’s okay to be scared – it’s how we deal with our fear that defines us. Yet the story is still brisk, light, and fun to read, chock full of onomatopoeia and a good sense of humor. The length is great, and JJ loved it – Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Chickenfriend (Penny S. Roth)

(Due to unforeseen technical difficulties, we were unable to post last night’s review. Sorry for the delay!)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Chickenfriend, written by Penny S. Roth and illustrated Alyssa Busse, a lesson in friendship.

There are ordinary chickens, and then there’s Chickenfriend. So named by his human best friend Josi, Chickenfriend is hard to miss: he has a bold personality, a crazy created crown of feathers, and most notably, he is absolutely devoted to Josi. He even runs to Josi for hugs. One day, three new chickens join Chickenfriend in the coop, and feathers begin to ruffle. Whenever Josi compliments Fancy’s lovely feathers, or Blueshell’s unique blue eggs, Chickenfriend suddenly feels upset in his tummy – could it be jealousy? And when he sees Josi giving one of his hugs to Cluckers, he positively loses his cool, throwing a tantrum that’s fit to bring the barn down. How can Chickenfriend learn how to deal with jealousy, and to share his friend?

Sweet and unique. Inspired by her daughter, Roth crafts a story that hits familiar notes but with fresh and personal characters. Chickenfriend is certainly striking in appearance and personality, and kids will enjoy following his antics. The illustrations are humorous, and while some spreads feel a little generic, others are delightfully quirky and memorable. There are also areas where the text could have benefitted from some edits, especially in the slowed-down and occasionally redundant second half. And it bears mentioning that Chickenfriend learns his lesson of friendship with the help of faith – God is mentioned twice, though no exact faith is specified. Otherwise, the length was fine, and JJ enjoyed it. Overall, there were some rocky areas, but this was a clever, warmly personal story with a hilariously distinct character, and we really liked it. Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

The Chicken-Chasing Queen Of Lamar County (Janice N. Harrington)

Hello, friends! We’re back today with a review of The Chicken-Chasing Queen Of Lamar County, written by Janice N. Harrington and illustrated by Shelley Jackson, a whimsical story of a precocious young girl and her quest to catch a very elusive chicken.

A little girl opens the story by introducing herself as the Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County. Even though Big Mama tells her to leave the chickens alone, the little girl can’t help it; she adores the exciting fun of sneaking up and snatching the unsuspecting chickens on her family’s farm. In fact, she’s caught every chicken except one: Miss Hen, a beautiful red who’s far cleverer than she looks. The Queen tries her best, but Miss Hen is just too slippery. Right up until the Queen well and truly has her dead to rights… but finds that perhaps Miss Hen has a reason to be so sly that is more important than playing chase.

This was a really fun story with a wonderfully joyful protagonist and some lovely art. Everything about the text and story feels immersive, and makes it great fun as you follow along with the very “serious” business of chicken-chasing. The art is a wonderful mix of gorgeously expressive humans against mixed-media environments and creatures, and the patchwork quality of the titular chickens is especially enchanting. The length is fine, and JJ and I had a lot of fun with this one. A fun ride into the adventures of a little girl, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!