Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Little Chicken by Tammi Sauer and Dan Taylor - Children's Day #2

Dot is a chicken with anxiety issues. A lot of things scare her: wolves, bears, the occasional lawn ornament. One day, Dot is adding safety features to her chicken coop when she accidentally bumps an egg ("a soon-to-be sibling"). The egg rolls out of the coop and down the hill.

Dot gulped. She knew this wouldn't be over easy. 

This is the moment you realize A Little Chicken is going to be very punny. I like puns. A friend of mine calls them cheap humor but since I'm not as clever as he is, I can enjoy lesser wordplay. And, there's plenty of it in A Little Chicken. Dot is determined to save her little brother or sister, so she chases the egg down the hill (and trips). The egg keeps rolling onward in a way no egg truly can: across a pond where it bounces on a lily pad, flies up into a tree, the limb breaks and the egg rolls onward, deep into the woods.

At the edge of the woods, Dot's tail feathers shake because, of course, there are things she's afraid of in the woods. But, she must save that egg. It's one of her siblings.

Dot fluttered past one stunned wolf, two startled bears, and three very questionable lawn ornaments. 

This made me laugh. The lawn ornaments are gnomes, which I love (I have one hidden in the bushes outside my library window, where I can see it but nobody else can).

Dot eventually saves the egg and a baby sister immediately hatches from it. By this point, she's made it back to the farmyard and she's a hero. The book ends with the thought that it's okay that Dot is still afraid of a lot of things:

Sometimes a big hero . . . is just a little chicken. 

Highly recommended - This is an especially good book for a very wiggly child who is still getting used to being read to, because it has few words, and for the child who loves word play. And, trust me, really young children can understand puns. I've been surprised by both my children and eldest grandchild, in that regard. A great theme -- you may have fears, and that's okay, but there are times even someone who is afraid of things can be courageous. Love it. I adore the illustrations, especially the fact that the lawn ornaments are gnomes and the chicken is more than a little awkward. Note that he looks terrified of a butterfly on the cover! Also, I may be a tiny, tiny bit biased in my love for this book by the fact that I pretty much adore everything Tammi Sauer writes. She's been a favorite children's book author since Chicken Dance, which I reviewed way back in 2009 (it's still an all-time favorite with a special place on the shelves).

I received a copy of A Little Chicken from Sterling Children's Books in return for my review. Many thanks! This is my second review for Children's Day. More to come!

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